The De Blasio administration is looking to “backfill” the finance jobs it expects to lose with growing industries like tech, a top city official said Thursday, asserting that the city wouldn’t “pay” to keep jobs here.
In a speech light on specifics, Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen disparaged the competition New York faces from southern, low tax states, and emphasized livability and education as the engines of New York’s future.
“They don’t want to be in a stripmall somewhere in Texas or Florida,” Glen said of New York businesses. “It’s how do we continue to give them the real estate and talent they need.”
Glen sketched out less than $200 million in new city money to promote growth in the private sector.
The biggest chunk, $115 million, will go towards renovating the Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park in Brooklyn, and fostering an “innovation cluster” of manufacturing, fashion and design, food production in the neighborhood.
Another $25 million will help install new backup power for the Hunts Point Produce Market in the Bronx. $10 million more is slotted to create an “East Side Life Sciences Corridor,” piggybacking on institutions like Bellevue Hospital to create businesses that will develop drugs, invent medical devices, and diagnose the sick.
The Deputy Mayor also emphasized job training, saying that the city doesn’t do enough to align itself the demands of the private sector. Glen said that only 7% of the $500 million the city spends on workforce development goes to job training. Those numbers could not be immediately verified.
Above all, she evinced faith that jobs would follow housing — that affordability would draw the talent that draws the companies.
“Go talk to recruiters — folks want to be in New York City,” Glen said.
To make her point, however, she cited the growth of the city’s film and television production industry, which has grown and shrunk alongside the growth and shrinkage of its tax incentive package.
Faced with questions about companies like JP Morgan, which may have relocated jobs when tax incentives trumped New York’s intangibles, Glen suggested they “agree to disagree.”
“I see the math a little differently,” she said.
Glen said the city planned to expand services medium-sized businesses, offering advice on financial planning and exporting, and said the administration would “scrub” the books of onerous and retrograde laws for businesses, but offered no specifics.
“I gotta give the mayor something to do tomorrow,” Glen said, pointing to Bill De Blasio’s planned speech on jobs.