New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), RAL Development Services LLC (RAL), and Civic Hall today announced that the Tech Training Center in Union Square has officially certified into the City’s Uniform Land-Use Review Procedure (ULURP) process. The project will pair a digital skills training center with flexible space for tech companies to grow and hire within the building.
The 240,000 square foot project will create a multi-level ecosystem for diversifying talent and growing the next generation of companies and industries. In addition to its training center, the project will feature step up, affordable office space for growing companies that have graduated from Civic Hall, incubators, or co-working spaces. The Center will also offer modern, market-rate space to attract established, industry-leading corporations to the ecosystem.
To make the tech industry more accessible to a wide range of New Yorkers, the Center will offer scholarships for digital training through partnerships with providers such as Per Scholas, FEDCAP, the Computer Science Foundation of New York, AccessCode, MOUSE.org, and General Assembly. Together, these training opportunities will develop a talent pipeline between residents in lower Manhattan and New York City’s burgeoning tech ecosystem.
The City and development team will continue its engagement with local community organizations on ways to best connect their constituencies with high-impact training and quality tech jobs during the public review process.
The training facility will be managed by anchor tenant Civic Hall, which will also establish a separate civic innovation center for community members and technologists to help develop solutions for the public good. The project is expected to create over 600 good-paying jobs, a key component to Mayor de Blasio’s plan to create 100,000 jobs over the next ten years.
“As we work to grow jobs in our innovation economy, we must also create strong talent pipelines into our neighborhoods,” said James Patchett, President and CEO, NYCEDC. “This project will connect young people in surrounding communities with the skills they need to participate in the modern economy. We are excited to begin the public approval process and look forward to finding even more ways for community members to benefit from this great project.”
“More than just creating good jobs, this tech hub represents a real investment in cross-business and cross-sector collaboration, workforce development, and the kind of infrastructure that will help all New Yorkers benefit from the growing knowledge and tech economies,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer.
“We are excited to achieve this important milestone in the ULURP process, and eager to continue our work with the project stakeholders toward delivering this important economic development engine for the city,” said Spencer Levine of RAL Development Services LLC. “This project has great potential to provide education, jobs, and entrepreneurial opportunities to the local community and the city at large.”
“New York City is a leading the country in making sure the technology industry is more diverse, inclusive, and empathetic while also ensuring that our own tech industry is reflective of the city’s population,” said Andrew Rasiej, the Founder and CEO of Civic Hall. “This project is a prime example of the city’s commitment to making it easier for any New Yorker regardless of their background, age, or economic status to have access to digital skills training so that they can find high paying jobs in the 21st century economy.”
“One of the pillars of CUNY’s new strategic plan is strong workforce development for our students, and those programs rely on partnerships with some of our city’s best high-growth employers,” said Angie Kamath, University Dean for Continuing Education and Workforce Development at CUNY. “We are proud to support this ambitious Tech Training Center in Union Square, which will pair high-impact training programs with successful tech employers. This will create excellent career opportunities for New Yorkers.”
“Business and tech industries have long struggled to align their workforces with the demographics of the cities where they’re headquartered. Now, it’s time for us to take action and to do that, we need to pair industry interventions with community-driven solutions. At Educational Alliance, we are optimistic about Mayor de Blasio’s plan for this tech center and look forward to bringing these growing tech opportunities to young people in our community,” said Alan van Capelle, President & CEO of Educational Alliance.
“The Union Square Partnership looks forward to the continued development of the tech job training center,” said Jennifer E. Falk, Executive Director of the Union Square Partnership. “Union Square serves as the epicenter of New York’s growing tech scene, and we are proud to support this inclusive center that will create a multi-level ecosystem and connect New Yorkers to jobs with growing organizations.”
“The Tech Training Centerin Union Square will provide Per Scholas students and alumni access to cutting-edge facilities and free training resources currently unavailable in Manhattan. As a 23 year old nonprofit strengthening communities across New York, we understand that access to training is critical for success. An expansion to a downtown training location will relieve commuting barriers, decrease stress levels, and offer more time for students to focus on homework, family responsibilities, and securing their first job in tech.” Kelly Richardson, Managing Director, Per Scholas New York.
As a community asset, the Tech Training Center will offer event space to community groups at significantly discounted rates or free, depending on need, for a minimum of thirty two times a year. RAL will ensure that 25% of booths in its planned street level market space will be reserved for first-time, local food entrepreneurs.
New York City’s tech sector is stronger than ever, and the City is working to create a clear pathway into the growing industry. In 2016, the tech sector set a new employment record of 128,600 jobs, and number of tech firms in New York City reached 7,600, an increase of 23 percent since 2010. Already a high-paying industry, total wages paid to workers in the sector doubled since 2010 to reach a record $18.9 billion in 2016.
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