Senate Budget Contains Sweeping Statewide Jobs Initiative

Pedro Espada, Jr.

April 01, 2009

Senator Pedro Espada Jr. (D-Bronx) and Senate Majority Leader Malcolm A. Smith (D-Queens), announced a Senate Majority-led sweeping jobs initiative designed to create nearly 123,518 new jobs statewide as part of this year's state budget. The initiative includes the state's first large-scale employment program in decades, targeting low-income residents. The initiative also uses federal stimulus money to create new infrastructure and "green" jobs, and puts more police officers on neighborhood streets.

 "These new jobs will enable New Yorkers to take care of their families," said Senator Espada, Vice President of the Senate for Urban Policy and Planning. "The creation of 123,518 new jobs will give working class people the ability to pay for housing, taxes and other consumer goods."

 The Senator said creating job opportunities for Bronx residents and those throughout the city and state — including energy-related "green", infrastructure and law enforcement jobs as part of the federal stimulus package — was a  major priority of the Senate Majority leadership in crafting the budget. Highlights of the new jobs initiative include:

 • As many as 58,000 new "green" jobs through the formation of the  Senate's Green Initiatives Institute, insuring that $561.2 million in federal stimulus money earmarked for energy efficiency and development. The federal stimulus will be distributed through a number of programs including the Weatherization Assistance Program, Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program, and Senate Energy Program.

    • Up to 50,000 new construction jobs for infrastructure upgrade and repair. Approximately $2.5 billion in federal stimulus funds will be invested in much-needed infrastructure projects to improve roads, highways, bridges, sewer systems and power lines. Within this funding, $1.4 billion is earmarked for mass transit and $1.1 billion for highways and bridges. For every $1 million spent on mass transit and ground passenger transportation, 31.6 jobs are created in multiple industries locally and across the state.
   • The hiring of 1,391 new police officers through federal stimulus funds to make neighborhoods safer.
   • The creation of 2,000 new jobs through an elaborative work program in social services for low-income residents.

 With the economic crisis forcing thousands of residents to unemployment, this initiative will place them in several service sector jobs, including business support, office administration, travel arrangements/reservations, and facilities, buildings and dwellings support.
 "Under the new construction jobs for infrastructure upgrade and repair, 30 percent of the highway funds will be allocated to large urban areas, like the Bronx and other four boroughs," said Senator Espada. "The balance will go through the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), which with Senate input, is currently reviewing Transportation Improvement Program and Statewide Transportation Improvement Program projects to get these initiatives off the ground. Half of the stimulus money must be under contract within the next four months, and the balance of the funds under contract within one year."

 Senate Majority budget initiatives will put tens of thousands of residents back to work, and that job creation and support of small businesses is the economic stimulus that will place the state economy on the fast track to economic recovery.