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Kearns: board should have say on grants

Several businesses and non-profit organizations in Community Board 10 received large grants from the The New York Economic Development Corporation’s Good Jobs Program, and that is just fine by the board and its district manager.

CB 10 district manager Kenneth Kearns said that he was glad to learn of the grants during a recent presentation by Bettina Diamiani, project director for job creation advocates “Good Jobs New York.”

The presentation revealed that there were over $2 million in grants given to five local businesses and non-profits for the purpose of creating and maintaining jobs. The grants were granted through the Industrial Development Agency, an arm of New York Economic Development Corporation.

Kearns was concerned that the board was never notified nor provided any input on the decisions to award the job-creating grants. These included $1.3 million to Pepsi Cola Bottling Company in Ferry Point, $337,000 to Westchester Square Medical Center, $296,000 to Trine Rolled Moulding Corporation, $85,000 to Federation Employment Guidance Services (FEGS), and $37,000 to Young Adult Institute (YAI). In total, these organizations should be creating or maintaining more than 250 jobs through the grants and other sources, according to Good Jobs New York.

“We are asking the New York City Economic Development Corporation why they did not reach out to the local community board,” Kearns said. “They never even told us that the program to award the subsides was in existence. We are in fact glad that these groups are getting the money, but it would be great if they brought us into the process. There was no notification that this money was available.”

Kearns sent a letter to the New York City Economic Development Corporation on Monday, November 29, saying there had been a “serious break down in communication” regarding the grants, which could help companies create and offer jobs to community members. The letter stated that CB 10 had never received communication from the NYC EDC about the grant, and that the board would like to have the opportunity to help local people land jobs in the communities they reside in.

“We would have liked to have held job fairs and information sessions for the community about any jobs available,” Kearns said. “As far as I know, we have seen nothing in terms of notices of new jobs.”

CB 10 Economic Development Committee chairman James McQuade said that he hopes the board will be contacted in the future as grants become available. Also he hopes to get into a detailed discussion about job creation.

“If you are working in a community, you usually get your best employees from that community,” McQuade said. “We need the jobs as much as any place else.”

The New York City Economic Development Corporation did not comment as of press time.

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