FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 19, 2012
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES HOW THE CITY'S INITIATIVES IN THE FASHION AND TECH INDUSTRIES ARE HELPING CREATE JOBS AND BUILD A STRONGER ECONOMIC FUTURE
The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg's weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, February 19, 2012.
“Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
“From the very first days of our Administration, we’ve been focused on diversifying our economy, so that when Wall Street sneezes, the rest of the City doesn’t catch a cold. That foresight is now paying off in a big way, and is one of the major reasons why, even though we haven’t fully recovered from the last national recession, New York City weathered it better than most of the rest of the country.
“Take our fashion industry, which today employs some 173,000 people and generates more than $10 billion in wages each year. As the home to more than twice as many fashion companies as Paris, New York City is a major fashion capital. And that was never more evident than during last week’s Fashion Week – a twice-yearly event that attracts hundreds of thousands of people to New York, and that this year will generate an incredible $865 million for our economy. That’s money that’s spent in our hotels, our restaurants, and our stores – and then ripples throughout the City, supporting jobs and small businesses in all five boroughs.
“One of the great strengths of our City’s fashion industry has long been its spirit of entrepreneurship – which is very important because entrepreneurs are, hands down, the best job creators. And that’s why we are doing more than ever to help New Yorkers start their own fashion labels and businesses. Last week, for instance, I visited our fashion ‘incubator’ in the heart of the Garment District, where top emerging designers can rent space at well below market rates. While I was there, we launched a free, MBA-style program to give designers the training they need to run their own labels. It’s one of six initiatives we’re rolling out to encourage the development of new fashion retailing and new fashion labels, and to attract the best and the brightest to work in the industry.
“Another industry in our City with a bright future and a strong record of creating jobs is our tech sector. We are home to a growing number of tech startups like Seamless, Foursquare, and Etsy – and we’ve been joined in recent years by a number of major Silicon Valley companies like Google and Facebook. And tech sector employment in our City has grown by some 30 percent during the past five years. But that’s not enough. We want to be a center of digital technology on par with Silicon Valley. And one of the ways we are going to get there is through the new applied sciences campus that Cornell University and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology are building on Roosevelt Island.
“Last week, at the headquarters of the homegrown blogging site, Tumblr, we joined Cornell and the Technion to announce the new leadership team for the campus. Combined, they possess the kind of academic talent and experience in entrepreneurship to make the campus a true center of innovation and enterprise. According to our conservative predictions, the campus will spawn 600 startups over the next three decades, which will in turn create up to 30,000 additional jobs. And that doesn’t even include the tens of thousands of new jobs required to build the campus and operate it.
“Bottom line: this new applied sciences campus is going to be a game-changer for our City. And with our continued investments in our tech and fashion industries – along with our ongoing efforts to support entrepreneurs and create new jobs in all sectors of our economy – it’s clear that the best days for New York City are still to come.
“This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening.”
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958
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