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 Borough President Melinda Katz, the Western Queens Tech Task Force, 
Coalition for Queens and HR&A Advisors unveiled the long-anticipated
 Western Queens Tech Zone Strategic Plan (“Tech Plan”) – entitled Live, 
Work, Create: A Roadmap for Equitable Growth of the Western Queens Tech 
Ecosystem – during an event held today at WeWork Queens Plaza in Long Island
 City. The Tech Plan offers a roadmap for equitable job growth within 
the tech economy of Western Queens along the East River waterfront. 
Borough President Katz also announced the formation of the Western 
Queens Tech Council, charged with implementing the Tech Plan, 
identifying a tech-driven brand for the area and promoting a coordinated
 strategy for the tech district.

The Tech Plan identifies strategic 
opportunities to build upon the area’s burgeoning tech ecosystem and 
proposes six initiatives to support its future growth as New York City’s
 future tech hub. The creation of the Tech Plan was first initiated by 
the Western Queens Tech Task Force in 2011 and funded by the New York 
State Department of State under Title 11 of the Environmental Protection
 Fund. The Tech Plan can be viewed in its entirety here.

“Tech jobs, on average, pay more and are
 growing at a faster clip than jobs citywide,” said Borough President 
KATZ. “Western Queens offers a coveted, dynamic mixed-use community 
where workers can live, ideas can synergize, and businesses can thrive. 
We commissioned the Tech Plan to facilitate a more equitable growth of 
this emerging global innovation hub and the City’s next leading tech 
ecosystem. By leveraging its inherent assets, as well as training 
locally and hiring locally, we will steer our borough into a more 
competitive lane of the digital age.”

“Through smart development and 
innovative planning, Western Queens is on the verge of something great,”
 said ROSSANA ROSADO, New York Secretary of State. “The New York 
Department of State is proud to have put forth $150,000 toward these 
important projects that will embrace the growing tech market and promote
 economic growth across the Borough.”

“As we enter the phases of 
implementation, our success in reaching the Tech Plan milestones will 
hinge upon continued engagement from all stakeholders vested in Western 
Queens’ growth, including those entrusted on the Tech Council,” Borough 
President KATZ said.

The 21 individuals appointed to the 
Western Queens Tech Council are: Tristan Bel, NYDesigns; Karen Bhatia, 
NYC Economic Development; Seth Bornstein, Queens Economic Development 
Corporation; Tracy Capune, Kaufman Astoria Studios; Carol Conslato, 
ConEd; Samuel Cooper, Mayor’s Office of Chief Technology Officer; 
Samantha Dolgoff, NYC Department of Transportation; Commissioner Nicole 
Garcia, NYC Department of Transportation; Thomas J. Grech, Queens 
Chamber of Commerce; Jukay Hsu, C4Q; Michael Hulbert, Estee Lauder; 
Saeed Jabbar, Inclusion; Bill Keller, Queens College; Paula C. Kirby, 
Plaxall; Debbie Markell Kleinert, Queens Community Board 2; Tara 
Lannen-Stanton, Queens Library; Elizabeth Lusskin, Long Island City 
Partnership; Gail Mellow, LaGuardia Community College; Brian Shoicket, 
Uncubed; Jane Swanson, Cornell NYC Tech; John Young, NYC Department of 
City Planning.

The Tech Plan’s six initiatives are 
grouped into three focal points and laid out in immediate, 
intermediate-term and long-term steps aimed at creating equitable access
 to tech jobs:

People-Focused Initiatives (supporting talent pool growth and development of robust and stable workforce pipeline):

  • Prepare disadvantaged residents to succeed in existing tech training
     programs. Secure federal and state funding to leverage and expand 
    pre-training programs designed to help close gaps between existing tech 
    training programs and Western Queens residents, with an emphasis on 
    supporting people underrepresented in the area’s tech ecosystem.

  • Strengthen the tech workforce pipeline to better align with job 
    placement opportunities. Build stronger partnerships between City and 
    tech employers to develop a shared understanding of their needs and 
    expand opportunities for on-the-job practical training.

Place-Based Initiatives (fostering the creation of new tech-supportive physical spaces):

  • Define 300 acres of strategic nodes to focus investment. Create a 
    density of activity to attract and link residents, students and tech 
    firms, boosting the Western Queens tech ecosystem and encouraging 
    informal connections.

  • Develop a 40,000 – 60,000 square feet physical hub for tech and 
    innovation open to the entire community. Build a central tech hub to 
    expand access to tools, training and affordable office space and increase connections between the tech ecosystem and the broader community.

Programmatic Initiatives (incentivizing tech growth in Western Queens and on clearly articulating the value of the area):

  • Expand marketing of Western Queens tech opportunities. Create a 
    recognizable brand for Western Queens that leverages its growing tech 
    ecosystem, as well as the many opportunities that the area offers to 
    grow tech businesses, through targeted outreach campaigns for residents 
    and developers.

  • Customize regulatory tools and incentives to attract more tech 
    firms. Create new economic development tools to incentivize private 
    sector investments and job creation, such as increasing the existent 
    10-20 percent State tax credit for investments into qualified firms, as 
    well tapping into the NYC Entrepreneurial Investment Fund.


The partners on the Western Queens Tech 
Task Force who made the Tech Plan possible were: 500 Startups; 
Association for a Better New York (ABNY); Center for an Urban Future; 
Citigroup; Coalition for Queens; Con Edison; Cornell Tech; Flux Factory;
 Google; IBM; 
Inclusion; JetBlue; Kaufmann Astoria Studios; LaGuardia Community 
College; Local Data; Long Island City Partnership; Mayor’s Office of 
Tech and Innovation; Noguchi Museum; NYC Department of Buildings; NYC 
Department of City Planning; NYC Department of Education; NYC Department
 of Transportation; NYC Digital; NYC Economic Development Corporation; 
NYCHA; NYDesigns; NY Tech Meetup; Office of Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer;
 Ontodia; Open Tech Institute; Partnership for New York City; Plaxall; 
Queens Chamber of Commerce; Queens College; Queens Community Board 1; 
Queens Community Board 2; Queens Economic Development Corporation; 
Queens Public Library System; Queens Vocational & Technical High 
School; Queensbridge Residents Association; REES Neighborhood Zone 
(NYCHA); Roosevelt Island; Shapeways; Tech:NYC; TF Cornerstone; Uber; 
Uncubed; Urban Upbound (ERDA); Verizon.


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