Community Advisory Committee Formed to Guide Amazon Headquarters Project

From left to right: John Schoettler, Vice President for Global Real Estate at Amazon, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, and Mayor Bill de Blasio during the November 13, 2018 announcement of LIC’s selection for Amazon HQ2. Image Credit: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office

The Committee will advise on issues related to construction and infrastructure priorities, and develop workforce strategies to ensure New Yorkers have access to the 25,000-plus jobs the project is expected to create. On December 11, 2018, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the formation of a 45-member Community Advisory Committee to the guide the Amazon Headquarters project. Local elected officials recommended community and citywide stakeholders to be Committee members. A Steering Committee will lead the full Committee and members will work through three subcommittees: Project Plan, Neighborhood Infrastructure, and Workforce. On November 13, 2018, Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo announced Long Island City, Queens as one of two sites selected for Amazon’s second headquarter.

The Steering committee is comprised of co-chairs of each of the three subcommittees and the Empire State Development and the New York City Economic Development Corporation. Elected officials are also invited to join as ex-officio members.

The Project Plan subcommittee will advise on development of the General Project Plan and issues related to the construction of the new headquarters. The Empire State Development, Elizabeth Lusskin of the Long Island City Partnership, and Denise Keehan-Smith of Queens Community Board 2 will lead the Project Plan subcommittee.

The Neighborhood Infrastructure subcommittee will advise on infrastructure priorities in the broader Long Island City neighborhood and build upon the $180 million investment plan recently announced by the City in the Long Island City Investment Strategy. The Economic Development Corporation, Melva Miller of the Association for a Better New York, and Rob Basch of the Hunters Point Park Conservancy will lead the Neighborhood Infrastructure subcommittee.

The Workforce subcommittee will develop an education-to-career workforce strategy to ensure that New Yorkers of all backgrounds have the skills and training to access the 25,000 to 40,000 jobs Amazon expects to bring to the City. Amazon, Bishop Mitchell G. Taylor of Urban Upbound, Gail Mellow of LaGuardia Community College and Jean Woods-Powell of Information Technology High School will lead the Workforce Development subcommittee. All five Borough Presidents will also serve on the Workforce subcommittee as ex-officio members.

“Amazon’s new headquarters will bring more than 25,000 jobs benefitting all New Yorkers from NYCHA residents to CUNY students,” said Mayor de Blasio. “The Community Advisory Committee will bring together stakeholders of all backgrounds to help shape this important plan. Robust community engagement is critical to ensuring that the investments and resources generated from this project serve the needs of everyone in Long Island City and beyond.”

“Amazon’s new headquarters in Long Island City is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our economy and community input will be a critical part of the development process,” Governor Cuomo said. “We look forward to working with local elected officials, community organizations and residents to ensure their voices are heard as we work to create tens of thousands of well-paying jobs, generate billions in revenue that will be reinvested in the region, strengthen our infrastructure, and expand opportunity for New Yorkers.”

“Amazon chose New York City because of its talent pool and we are dedicated to growing and developing that talent. Working with the CAC, we will build on Amazon’s existing job training and workforce development programs — ensuring they meet the needs of Long Island City residents and create pathways to the 25,000 new jobs we are bringing to the neighborhood. This joint effort will help ensure that our new neighbors benefit not only from corporate and technology jobs, but also the thousands more indirect jobs in construction, building services, hospitality and other service industry fields,” said Ardine Williams, Vice President People Operations, HR Worldwide Operations, Amazon.

“It is imperative for stakeholders to seize an active role in this process and directly shape how the community will benefit from this historic deal,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. “The process should include infrastructure investments to enhance capacity, support for existing housing developments and, in a union town like New York, agreements with labor. The Community Advisory Committee is designed to ensure community insights and concerns are incorporated into the ultimate outcome.”

For the full list of Committee members, click here.


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