Klein, Bronx Chamber of Commerce Launch Bronx H.I.R.E. Program to Combat Borough Unemployment

BRONX, NY – Senator Klein, along with the Bronx Chamber of Commerce and local elected officials, announced Bronx H.I.R.E., a new program aimed at connecting Bronx workers with real jobs through a comprehensive, direct approach. The Bronx H.I.R.E. (Help Identify Real Employment) program was announced at the Bronx Amalgamated Housing Cooperative, a housing development dedicated to the mission of building a strong community of shared responsibility and cooperative work environments.


The program, made possible through a $200,000 grant Sen. Klein secured in this year's budget, will consist of two parts - one that will make sure that the new and existing Bronx businesses and institutions are employing Bronx residents and the other that will establish a hands on worker development program. The second part of this program, known as the “Opening Doors Initiative” will give Bronx workers an opportunity to receive support for additional certifications, help with resumes, interviews, applications and assistance with follow-up for positions to which H.I.R.E. participants have applied. The program will be facilitated by the Bronx Chamber of Commerce.


Senate Majority Coalition Leader Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester) said, “For too long, the Bronx has had the dubious distinction of having the highest unemployment rate in the state. However, there are real signs that business is investing in the Bronx and with our new H.I.R.E. program, we are investing in the Bronx worker.Bronxites looking to take the next step in their career can enroll in our program and receive hands on, targeted assistance with everything from resume writing to skill certification. I am confident that with the business expertise of the Bronx Chamber, our program’s partnership with Bronx businesses and the funding I was able to secure, we can bring together local businesses with the skilled workforce already calling the Bronx home.”


Greg Gonzalez, Manhattan Parking Garage, “As a major employer in the Bronx, I am thankful for this program, which will help businesses get the very best of the Bronx’s workers.  This program will provide employees with needed skills to excel in companies like mine.”


Michelle Dolgow Cristofaro, Bronx Chamber of Commerce Chief-of-Staff and H.I.R.E. administrator, “The Bronx Chamber of Commerce with the support of Senator Jeff Klein’s grant can now help Bronxites obtain long term employment in quality fields.  This initiative will help tap into the existing workforce and provide our future employees with the necessary skillsets and certifications.  We look forward to connecting employers looking to hire with these candidates.”


Lenny Caro, Bronx Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, “The Bronx Chamber of Commerce plays an active, significant role in the economic development of the borough.  With the Throggs Neck Shopping Center, Marriot Hotel, the Outlet Mall, a new Macys, and Trump Golf Course moving in to the Bronx, we will work with these companies to promote Bronx job fairs for placement in these new businesses. These developments will help increase employment for Bronxites and the HIRE program will help promote this job creation.”


Assemblyman Jeff Dinowitz (D-Bronx) said, "The Bronx H.I.R.E. program strives to connect Bronx workers with businesses setting up shop here. But it also goes the extra mile, by developing a hands on, one on one career development program for Bronxites looking not just for a job, but a career. Any program that helps Bronx residents find meaningful, long term jobs is critical to our borough's long term economic health and this program will do just that."


Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj (D-Bronx) said, "This is a program Bronx residents have been waiting for. The unemployment rate in this borough is alarming and our residents deserve to be informed of the many opportunities that lie right here in their backyard. I commend Senator Klein and the Bronx Chambers for putting such a program together."


“As many Bronxites struggle to find jobs Senator Klein has once again delivered a wave of relief to this borough.  This new program that will help grow Bronx businesses while supplying opportunities for the many jobless residents who find it difficult to make ends meet.  The H.I.R.E. program is a way to take the benefits of new businesses making their way in to the Bronx and connecting them with the residents who live here.  I am excited to see the changes this program brings to this great borough in the next few months,” said Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda (D-Bronx).


“The Bronx is filled with professionals who are ready and willing  to work and I am happy that through the H.I.R.E. program our residents will have the opportunity to land a job for a better future for themselves and their families. I thank Senator Klein and the Bronx Chamber of Commerce for launching this crucial program. I look forward to continue to work with great organizations like the Bronx Chamber of Commerce and the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation to continue to create jobs  for all Bronxites,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.


The Bronx H.I.R.E. program announcement was held at the Bronx Amalgamated Housing Cooperative, a housing development dedicated to the mission of building a strong community of shared responsibility and cooperative work environments. Executive board members for the Bronx Chamber, including the Honorable June Eisland of Eisland Strategies, Greg Gonzalez of Manhattan Parking Group, Lisa Sorin of Westchester Square Business Improvement District, Steven Flores Risso of Teddy Nissan and Teddy Volkswagen and April Horton of Verizon attended the announcement.


The Bronx H.I.R.E. program will partner with new businesses – both big and small - to identify new job openings and connect local residents with human resources managers and owners. Additionally, the Bronx Chamber will join businesses moving into new developments in the Bronx in spearheading local job fairs and “meet and greets,” for applicants and employers to meet in a more focused environment.


Those who enroll in the H.I.R.E. program will work one on one with a specialist to determine what potential industries, positions and skill sets fit their profile. Additional resources necessary to advancement will be assessed and potentially subsidized with the funding provided by Senator Klein.