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PR- 358-12
October 15, 2012


New Partnerships with Hostos Community College, The New York Public Library, and Fordham University’s Center For Entrepreneurship Improves Services and Expands Reach

Chief Business Customer Service Officer Releases New Guides and Video to Help Inform Small Business Owners 

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Small Business Services Commissioner Robert W. Walsh today celebrated the opening of a 30,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility on Fordham Road in the Bronx that combines NYC Business Solutions services for businesses and Workforce1 Career Center services for jobseekers at a single location. The new, easily accessible facility located on a busy commercial corridor at 400 East Fordham Road and Webster Avenue, is partnering with Fordham University’s Center for Entrepreneurship to provide a collaborative space for Fordham students and alumni to launch small businesses and access NYC Business Solutions services. Fordham will also help develop and provide curriculum to better serve entrepreneurs and small business owners in the Bronx, and help them start, operate and expand. The Mayor also announced the opening of two new Workforce1 Centers in the Bronx – one located in The New York Public Library’s Francis Martin branch and another at Hostos Community College. In addition, Chief Business Customer Service Officer Tokumbo Shobowale announced the release of new resources to help small businesses work with government as they grow. The Mayor was also joined by Dean Donna Rapaccioli of Fordham’s Gabelli School of Business and Dean of Business Faculty, Dr. Anthony W. Marx, President and CEO of the New York Public Library, and Felix Matos Rodriguez, President of Hostos Community College.

“There is nothing more important to the strength of our economy than the health of small businesses,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “We need to do all we can to support entrepreneurs as they work to open businesses and create the jobs that will employ New Yorkers on all rungs of the economic ladder. We know that the Bronx is in particular need of these services and have no doubt that the Bronx community will make excellent use of these new resources.”

“New York City’s economy continues to add jobs and outperform the rest of the country, but getting New Yorkers back to work remains our top priority,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel. “With today’s announcements, Mayor Bloomberg is continuing our Administration’s record of investment in connecting New Yorkers to jobs that are available right now, and to making it as easy as possible for new businesses to open their doors quickly. New businesses mean new jobs, and the sooner a small business gets open, the sooner more and more New Yorkers are able to get back to work.”

“The opening of this state-of-the-art Workforce1 and NYC Business Solutions Center in the Bronx demonstrates the Mayor’s commitment to supporting small businesses and to growing New York City’s workforce,” said Commissioner Rob Walsh. “I am excited to be working closely with Fordham, the New York Public Library, and the Bronx community to continue to expand our city-wide network of centers for job-seekers and businesses.”

Fordham University’s Center for Entrepreneurship will be co-located with the new NYC Business Solutions Center, providing student entrepreneurs with services they need to launch their business ideas, small businesses in the neighborhood with access to Fordham University faculty, curriculum, and resources to help them start or grow a business. The NYC Business Solutions Center in the Bronx is under new management and will be operated by Grant Associates.  

NYC Business Solutions Centers, located in all five boroughs, offer the following free services:

  • Business Courses – teaches entrepreneurs and small businesses the relevant skills to help them reach their business goals. Courses that focus on developing a business plan and creating and executing a marketing strategy are offered on a monthly basis.
  • Legal Assistance – A network of attorneys provides pro-bono consultations on business establishment, contract review, lease review, and intellectual property.
  • Financing Assistance - helps businesses identify an appropriate lender for their need, package a loan application, and increase the chance of receiving a loan award.
  • Recruitment Services - provides businesses access to a ready pool of screened job candidates.
  • Training - provides funds for businesses to invest in their workforce, improve their employees’ skills, and increase productivity.
  • Incentives – helps businesses save money by connecting them to incentives offered by federal, state, and local government.
  • Navigating Government - helps businesses understand and comply with government regulations.
  • Certification - helps minority and women-owned businesses do business with the City and grow.

The Mayor’s Business Customer Service Initiative carries into the future the Bloomberg Administration’s longstanding efforts to make New York City government more effective and efficient in helping businesses open, operate, and expand. The initiative formally started roughly 90 days ago and has brought together City agencies, the City Council, and private sector partners to make it easier, clearer, and faster for businesses to go from dream to doors-open, from crafting a business plan to employing workers and serving customers. Today marks the launch of new NYC Starter Guides that explain to entrepreneurs how to meet regulatory requirements and open businesses. The ten guides cater to the 69 percent of New York City businesses with fewer than 100 employees, including groceries, salons, and small offices, since smaller businesses often lack resources to manage permitting. Also, a new online video – the first in a series – explains to restaurants the requirements for grease interceptors, important but often misunderstood requirements that prevent sewer backups. The guides and video are available on, along with a 90-day progress report that includes the latest efforts form the Business Customer Service Initiative.

“Making it easier for small businesses to interact with government is a key part of the Bloomberg Administration’s strategy for strengthening the economy,” said Chief Business Officer Shobowale. “Making regulatory information easy to understand and available in one place is a simple way to make life easier for small business owners, and we hope these new guides will go a long way toward helping businesses to better understand and meet expectations at every step in the process.”

“Today we open a great jobs resource for the Bronx, where individuals can find help of all sorts in getting a job,” said Congressman José E. Serrano. “This center is also equipped to help small businesses in a variety of ways. Putting these two centers under one roof and opening satellite locations elsewhere is a great strategy for creating and filling jobs, which is just what the Bronx needs.”

“During these difficult economic times, this new facility assists our Bronxites with invaluable workshops throughout their job search right in our community.  It might just take that one training on interviews or resume writing to be the key that opens the door to a new career opportunity,” said New York City Council Member and Majority Leader Joel Rivera.

“I have worked very closely with Mayor Bloomberg on many projects in the Bronx which have created thousands of jobs and opportunities,” said Assembly Member Jose Rivera. “This is an additional welcomed opportunity for the people that live and work in the Bronx.”

“If there is one thing that Mayor Bloomberg understands, it is capital,” said Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham. “In this case, he has wisely found a new way for Fordham to share its intellectual capital with the local community, and for the University to be enriched by the energy and imagination of the city’s most diverse borough.”

“The new Workforce1 Career Center at our Francis Martin branch is an important addition to the wide array of free job resources offered at The New York Public Library, from one-on-one job counseling to resume assistance to small business help,” said New York Public Library President Tony Marx. “A community is only as strong as its neediest members, and the Library takes its responsibility to help those who have come on hard times very seriously. This new center will help us do just that. I thank Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Walsh for giving us an opportunity to help New Yorkers find jobs.”

“At Hostos Community College we are incredibly excited about housing the Bronx Workforce1 Career Extension Center at our campus,” said Hostos Community College President Félix Matos Rodríguez. “This is a partnership that connects several institutions with expertise in getting New Yorkers employed by educating, training and coaching them to be highly competitive in today’s job market.  The synergy from this joint venture will result in far greater success at improving the quality of life for Bronx residents than we could have accomplished individually.”

The Workforce1 Career Center in the Bronx was previously located on East 149th Street, and has relocated to the Fordham Road facility, which provides additional space and equipment for jobseekers to find jobs and access free workshops, career counseling services and training opportunities. The space includes computer labs, conference rooms, and a resource room for self-directed job searches. The Center is also under new management, and will be operated by FEGS Health and Human Services System.

Two additional Workforce1 Expansion Centers are opening this week in the Bronx at the New York Public Library’s Francis Martin branch and at Hostos Community College. Workforce1 Centers were launched at the start of the Bloomberg Administration, and the opening of these two Centers marks the completion of all 18 Workforce1 Career Centers, offering free services to job seekers in all five boroughs.

The New York City Workforce1 Career Center system provides the City’s adult workforce and businesses with a full array of employment and recruitment services. Workforce1 Career Centers offer one-on-one appointments with jobseekers to review their resume, screen for jobs, and match candidates with available jobs. Centers also have a resource area where New Yorkers can search and apply for jobs, and conference areas for skill building workshops.

Several resources are available to New Yorkers looking for jobs. Visit for a list of Workforce1 Career Center locations throughout the City, and to sign up for the Workforce1 Career Bulletin, a weekly email featuring the latest job openings available through the centers. New Yorkers can also find valuable resources online through the Workforce1 Career Blog, and by following Workforce1 on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


Marc LaVorgna/Julie Wood   (212) 788-2958

Merideth Weber (SBS)   (212) 618-8971


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