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PR- 288-09
June 25, 2009


Mayor Addresses Officials from 28 Participating Cities at Columbia

Providing Job Training for New Yorkers and Helping Place Them in Jobs is Central to Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today addressed delegates representing 28 international cities during a Job Creation and Workforce Development Summit hosted by New York City Global Partners, Inc., with Columbia University and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's Local Economic and Employment Development Programme (OECD LEED). The summit is a two-day international meeting of government officials and policymakers and addresses the important role of cities in responding to the global economic crisis through job training and business development policies. The summit commenced today at Columbia University and concludes on June 26 at the Queens Workforce 1 Career Center.  The summit was developed in cooperation with the New York City Department of Small Business Services, the City's lead agency on adult workforce development, and the City's Workforce Investment Board (WIB).

"We've put workforce development at the heart of our strategy for spurring New York's recovery from the recession," said Mayor Bloomberg in his keynote address. "We are confident that our Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan will fuel a strong economic recovery, but in the short term, the pain created by this recession is very real. That's why the exchange of information and ideas at this summit is so helpful."

The Mayor was joined at the summit by Marjorie B. Tiven, Commissioner, New York City Commission for the United Nations, Consular Corps and Protocol; Ester R. Fuchs, Ph.D., Professor of Public Affairs and Political Science, Columbia University; Robert Kasdin, Senior Executive Vice President, Columbia University; Meyer Feldberg, President, New York City Global Partners, Inc., professor and dean emeritus at Columbia's Business School; and Robert W. Walsh, Commissioner, NYC Department of Small Business Services.

The summit was attended by delegations from Addis Ababa, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Baltimore, Barcelona, Belfast, Brussels, Budapest, Calgary, Caracas, Copenhagen, Dublin, Hong Kong, Kolkata, London, Manila, Miami, Nairobi, New York, Philadelphia, Rio de Janiero, Santiago, Shanghai, St. Petersburg, Stockholm, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, and Toronto.

Panels of experts from Barcelona, London, New York, Santiago, Shanghai, and Toronto presented their best practices in providing training and placement services to jobseekers and helping businesses attract and retain talent. In workshops, special attention was paid to how government works best with business, labor, higher education, non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders.

At the delegate luncheon at Columbia's Italian Academy, Dr. Regina Peruggi, President of Kingsborough Community College, spoke about the role of community colleges in creating a competitive workforce.

"Columbia is proud to continue its partnership with Mayor Bloomberg and New York City Global Partners, especially on an issue that is central to our mission as a global research university and as our city's seventh largest employer," said Columbia senior executive vice president Robert Kasdin. "The University's values and our self-interest require that we continue to play a role in the education and training of a skilled local workforce that can fill the wide array of employment opportunities of the future both on our own campus and across New York."

"The purpose of New York City Global Partners is to promote cooperation among the world's great cities and to learn from one another," said Global Partners President Meyer Feldberg. "Through Global Partners, the leaders of these cities have the opportunity to work together on their common agendas and to support innovations in business and workforce development."

"During this world economic crisis, the ability of cities to come together and share best practices is more important than ever," said Commissioner Marjorie Tiven.  "Through this summit, New York City Global Partners provides the opportunity for cities to address the challenges of job creation and economic sustainability in the 21st century."

"Mayor Bloomberg revolutionized New York City's workforce system," said Commissioner Walsh. "The first step was merging the Department of Employment with Small Business Services and bringing workforce development into the fold of economic development. The key to our success is that we work with both businesses and jobseekers. We identify the needs of the businesses and we help them with the hiring and training of their employees. This saves businesses time and money. For our jobseekers, we have improved our training programs and given better access to an array of services. Today, our City has a workforce model that is recognized as one of the best in the country."

Generous support for the summit was provided by Columbia University, Macy's, Inc., Accenture, Microsoft Corporation and Sony Corporation of America.

The Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan is a comprehensive strategy to bring New York City through the current economic downturn as fast as possible. It focuses on three major areas: creating jobs for New Yorkers today, implementing a long-term vision for growing the city's economy, and building affordable, attractive neighborhoods in every borough. Taken together, the initiatives that the City has launched to achieve these goals will generate thousands of jobs and put New York City on a path to economic recovery and growth.

About The Department of Small Business Services

The Department of Small Business Services makes it easier for businesses in New York City to form, do business, and grow by providing direct assistance to business owners, fostering neighborhood development in commercial districts, and linking employers to a skilled and qualified workforce. NYC Workforce1 Career Centers offer services to meet the needs of all jobseekers, including one-on-one job and career counseling, technical and educational services, workshops, and referrals to training providers.

About Columbia University Workforce Programs

One of the world's leading research universities, Columbia University is also New York City's seventh largest non-governmental employer.  More than two-thirds of the University's 14,000 employees reside in the city's five boroughs, and nearly 30 percent of support staff live in upper Manhattan neighborhoods.  While maintaining a community-based, walk-in employment center at 125th Street and Broadway, Columbia supports a growing array of job training, workforce development and small business mentoring programs.  These range from Columbia University Medical Center's partnership with the City University of New York to increase the number of Harlem and Washington Heights residents entering the medical lab technician field, to the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science programs that provide local students and adults with computer training and job placement in information technology.  Since 2002, more than $315 million in campus construction, repair, and maintenance contracts have been awarded to minority-, women-, or locally owned firms; to build on this long-standing commitment, last year Columbia launched a new partnership with New York City's Department of Small Business Services to train and mentor MWL businesses for such contracting opportunities.  Looking forward, as part of its long-term campus plan, the University is working with the Institution Recycling Network and NYC's Build It Green to train and employ local minority workers in the disassembly and recycling of existing building materials.

About New York City Global Partners, Inc.

New York City Global Partners, Inc. connects the City of New York with other global cities. The mission of Global Partners is to support the work of the Mayor's office in seeking creative solutions to municipal problems by sharing innovative programs and policies through conferences of high level policy makers and elected officials, site visits and internet exchanges. Formerly known as the Sister City Program of the City of New York, Global Partners was created in 2006 with a more flexible structure to facilitate interaction with additional global cities. The mission of Global Partners is advanced through the convening of summits, the online Innovation Exchange, and Global Partners Junior. New York City Global Partners is based in the office of the New York City Commission for the United Nations, Consular Corps and Protocol, part of the Mayor's office. It is an apolitical, non-profit, charitable, and educational 501(c)(3) organization. It is supported by private contributions and governed by a board of directors.  To learn more about New York City Global Partners, Inc., please visit or call 311.


Stu Loeser / Jason Post   (212) 788-2958

Laura Postiglione   (Small Business Services)
(212) 513-6318

Tanya Domi (Columbia University)   (212) 854-5579

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