NYC Comptroller Seeks to Increase Access to Digital Economy amidst Tech Companies’ Increasing Presence

Noting the loss of 479,000 jobs in the city’s private sector and 253,000 jobs in the restaurant, retail, accomodations, building and personal services industries, today NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer announced a comprehensive Workforce Development Plan, which aims to “dramatically expand the scale, quality, accessibility, and affordability of education and job training programs.”

The plan comes as a response to ‘long standing,’ and now ‘rapidly accelerating’ trends that involve a shift to e-commerce, telework, digitization and automation, that “risk leaving thousands of New Yorkers behind,” and an increasing inequality gap, and was released the day after a report from the Comptroller’s office that shows persistent levels of unemployment claims.

Plan components include seeking to provide tuition-free access to CUNY community colleges; universal paid internship programs for CUNY students; continued investments in Career and Technical Education (CTE); creating a CUNY tech Corps to help small businesses adopt digital tools and an online presence; and an alignment of private industry and workforce training, among others, which seek to expand employment opportunities in the following fields:

  • Healthcare
  • Logistics
  • Engineering
  • Finance
  • Design
  • Early education
  • Analytics
  • Cyber-security
  • Software development; and
  • Professional services.

Further showing how a digital economy-centered focus may be critical to the future of NYC, recently the New York Times reported that Google, Amazon, Apple and Facebook are “significantly expanding their footprint in the city,” even as most Manhattan offices having ‘remained deserted’ since March.

Key figures cited as to the four companies include the following:

  • Together, they employ over 22,000 workers in the city
  • In 2020 so far, they have hired over 2,600 workers
  • They have added roughly 1.6 million square feet of office space this year
  • They now have the office capacity to hire an additional 15,000 workers

The paper also noted that “smaller tech companies have also kept adding to their payrolls right through the outbreak,” and described NYC as a “bona fide tech hub,” that has employed 150,100 before the pandemic with numbers expected to continue to grow.

Categories: Comparative Advantage, Digital Economy, E-Commerce, Global Hub, Jobs & Industries, Startup Ecosystem, Universities Incubators & Pipeline

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