Photo Courtesy of the Office of the Borough President
The JFK Redevelopment Community Advisory Council is co-chaired by U.S. Rep. Greg Meeks (l.) and Borough President Melinda Katz. Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton is at Katz’s left.
By Forum Staff
Governor Andrew Cuomo recently touted a series of four initiatives targeting job opportunities, business opportunities, and training and education initiatives to benefit the communities around John F. Kennedy International Airport as part of the travel hub’s $13 billion redevelopment program.
According to the administration, the initiatives were developed by the JFK Advisory Council and cover three of the council’s main areas of focus: jobs in construction and airport operations for Southeast Queens residents; opportunities for businesses in Queens; and job training programs and educational opportunities for the community.
The JFK Redevelopment partners—consisting of the Port Authority, The New Terminal One, JetBlue & JFK Millennium Partners, and American Airlines—alongside the advisory council announced the four new initiatives:
- A recruiting program to match job seekers in the local community with jobs in construction and airport operations; the program will be carried out by staff at offices in Jamaica and Far Rockaway focused on filling open positions with qualified Queens residents.
- A second chance employment initiative to provide jobs to formerly incarcerated individuals and others with past involvement in the criminal justice system. This program involves a commitment by the Port Authority, terminal operators, and other employers in the redevelopment program to interview individuals with a justice touch point from the local communities for jobs associated with both airport construction and airport operations.
- A new science and technology education program for 300 local students grades 1-12 in Queens to encourage them to seek out jobs in aviation; this program will be carried out through a local partnership with York College building on a successful prior STEM program.
- A two-part initiative focused on providing concession opportunities to local retailers and restaurants. First, The New Terminal One has made a major commitment to reserve at least 50 percent of food and beverage venues for New York City-based restaurants which will include a significant focus on Queens-based businesses. Second, the Port Authority and JFK Airport will roll out an extensive training program to enable and equip area small businesses to qualify and compete for other future concessions opportunities as part of JFK redevelopment.
Cuomo established the JFK Redevelopment Community Advisory Council in October 2018. It is co-chaired by U.S. Rep. Greg Meeks (D-Jamaica) and Borough President Melinda Katz and is composed of elected officials, community boards, nonprofit organizations, civic organizations and clergy leaders in the targeted communities of Southeast Queens, Southwest Queens, the Rockaways and Western portions of Nassau County.
“The continued redevelopment of JFK has allowed residents, businesses, and communities to benefit through economic incentives. I commend Gov. Cuomo for bringing these trainings and educational opportunities to South Queens and encourage everyone to take advantage!” said Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-Howard Beach). “I look forward to seeing the progress made on the airport, and am hopeful that it will go a long way in improving the lives of New Yorkers and visitors alike.”