35% M/WBE Participation Goal in Construction Jobs Set for Union Square Tech Training Center

Union Square Tech Training Center
Rendering of the Union Square Tech Training Center by Davis Brody Bond

NEW YORK, NY – New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), Deputy Mayor Vicki Been, Council Member Carlina Rivera, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, community stakeholders, and RAL Development Services today broke ground on the new 21-story building that will house the Union Square Tech Training Center. The center will include a digital skills training space where New Yorkers can gain the experience and knowledge needed to thrive in a modern, digital economy and provide affordable offices and resources for start-ups and established companies to grow and hire within the building. 

Technology spans every industry from fashion to media to finance, and tech companies and careers now account for nearly 300,000 jobs in New York City. The Tech Training Center is designed to help diversify New York City’s tech sector and create more accessible pathways to good-paying jobs for communities around Union Square and across the entire City. NYCEDC anticipates that the Tech Training Center will create over 550 permanent jobs and over 600 construction jobs. 

Located at 124 East 14th Street, the Tech Training Center will create a multi-level ecosystem to grow the next generation of companies, industries, and tech workers. Civic Hall, a non-profit collaborative community center that advances the use of technology for the public good, will operate the Civic Hall @ Union Square Center, a digital skills training center where they will work with industry-leading training organizations, including Per Scholas, FEDCAP, CUNY, Mouse and General Assembly, to provide technology classes that teach in-demand skills that employers are seeking. These training opportunities will develop a talent pipeline between New Yorkers, especially groups currently unrepresented in the tech sector, and the city’s burgeoning tech ecosystem. 

In addition to the Tech Training Center, the new 240,000 square-foot building will offer collaborative workspaces; modern, market-rate space for established, industry-leading corporations; and “step-up” offices with flexible and affordable leasing terms and options that are better suited to start-ups and growing companies. By co-locating workforce training organizations with start-ups and larger-scale tech companies, the building is designed to encourage collaboration and innovation. The center will also include a floor available to community organizations and a food hall/retail space that will feature small businesses and first-time entrepreneurs. RAL Development Services and Suffolk Construction have committed to a 35% M/WBE participation goal in construction jobs for the Union Square Tech Training Center, and the project is expected to be completed by 2020.

In 2016, New York’s tech sector set a new employment record of 128,600 jobs, and the number of tech firms in the city reached 7,600, an increase of 23 percent since 2010. Already a high-paying industry, total wages paid to workers in the sector doubled since 2010 to reach a record $18.9 billion in 2016. The Tech Training Center is a key component of Mayor de Blasio’s New York Works plan to create 100,000 jobs over the next ten years. The plan focuses on creating accessible jobs in tech, industrial, creative, life sciences, and healthcare sectors. Visit New York Works for the 2019 progress report.