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NYC Small Business Services

Friday, October 13, 2006


New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Robert W. Walsh today announced the awarding of $355,000 in NYC Business Solutions Training Grants. The NYC Business Solutions Training Grant supports local employers and their employees by funding customized training programs that advance workers’ skills and increase their wages. Awardees are selected based on their ability to create and retain jobs, provide entry-level and incumbent workers with career advancement opportunities, and increase wages in key growth and priority sectors. Grants were awarded to six companies in Staten Island, Queens, Manhattan and the Bronx to train 286 employees. These grants will allow for the creation of 102 new jobs, will provide career advancement to 74 employees, and will provide wage increases to 80 employees, with wage increases ranging from 9% to 58%.

“Under the Mayor’s leadership, the workforce program we have created not only focuses on New Yorkers looking for jobs, but also on providing businesses and current employees with the resources they need to be successful,” said Commissioner Walsh. “NYC Business Solutions Training Grants are a great resource in achieving these goals. They provide businesses with highly-trained employees that meet their specific needs, a necessity in today’s competitive business environment, while also giving New Yorkers the necessary skills to be successful in their careers.”

Since being launched in October 2005, SBS has awarded 22 NYC Business Solutions Training Grants totaling $2 million to train 1,456 New Yorkers. Employers have matched these grants with $2.5 million of their own funds. During this round of funding, 27 applications were received from all five boroughs. The companies receiving the awards work in the healthcare, industrial/manufacturing, retail, and hospitality/tourism industries.

The next round of NYC Business Solutions Grant funding will open on November 8, with applications due December 13 and awards announced on January 26, 2007. Businesses can apply for the grant online at or by calling 311 and asking for “NYC Business Solutions Training.”

A few of the companies receiving awards during this round of funding are:

  • McAllister Towing of New York, LLC, a family-owned towing and transportation company based in Staten Island, will receive $71,525 to train 10 deckhands to become U.S. Coast Guard-certified Able-Bodied Seamen on tugboat crews. Training six current employees and four new hires will enable the company to activate their entire fleet and will enable the workers to gain new skills, 33% higher wages, and promotions.
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center will train 15 research study assistants to maintain medical research databases, allowing the hospital to enhance its cutting-edge research and to retain and promote entry-level employees. A $22,980 grant will leverage $34,073 in funds from Memorial Sloan Kettering and lead to 9% wage increases, promotions, and new skills for workers.
  • S. Katzman Produce distributes and delivers produce from the Hunts Point Produce Market throughout the tri-state area. The company will receive $50,300 to train 100 employees, including 74 current and 26 new hires, in the recognition and handling of specialty produce, quality control and order fulfillment. Trainees will receive a wage increase of 10% - 25% and three will be promoted to management positions.
  • Salsa Caterers and Special Events, Inc., will train 21 waiters and event planners in event management software, pre-event preparation, service, and supervisory skills. With a grant of $10,000, the company will train 16 existing staff and five new hires, promote ten waiters to new positions as captains and maitre’ds with wage increases of 18% - 40%.
  • Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University is opening a new Ambulatory Care and Medical Education Building. As part of this expansion, the organization will receive $121,000 to train 105 employees. Fifty team leads will learn supervisory skills and customer service, with 29 of the trainees being promoted as a result of training. In addition, 55 new hires in newly created facilities positions will be trained on customer service skills.

In addition, on September 8, the New York Department of Labor (NYSDOL) approved $410,238 in Building Skills in New York State (BUSINYS) grants for 11 companies to train 374 workers. SBS actively markets the BUSINYS grant through industry associations and local development corporations and provides extensive technical assistance to businesses to support and oversee their application process. Since 2005, SBS has facilitated the awarding of $1.2 million in grants from NYSDOL to 29 City businesses, which will train 1,500 employees.

The most recent BUSINYS grant awards include:

  • Barker Brothers, a Queens-based manufacturer of metal and wood finishings, will receive $44,780 to train 42 employees in lean manufacturing techniques and supervisory skills development. The training will enable the company to reduce waste and to control costs, production time and quality.
  • The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce (Brooklyn Alliance, Inc.), a membership organization that provides organizational support to local businesses, will receive $8,500 to train 30 employees in the use of newly installed customer relations management software.
  • Jujamcyn Theaters LLC, a Manhattan-based producer of theatrical productions and an owner of five “Broadway” theaters, will receive $27,900 to train five employees in the use of financial management and accounting software.
  • Ulano Corporation, a Brooklyn-based manufacturer of photo sensitive films and emulsions for the screen graphics industry, will receive $44,455 to train 62 employees. The company will train workers in lean manufacturing techniques and supervisory skills.
  • Charles Griffin, a Manhattan-based provider of fine art photographic printing services for artists, museums and galleries, will receive $10,720 to train eight employees in the use of graphic design and color printing technology as the company transitions from analog photography to digital imaging.
  • Honeybee Robotics designs, develops, and supplies automated mechanisms for industrial, defense, and aerospace applications. The Manhattan-based company will receive $32,490 to train 43 employees in lean manufacturing techniques and complete coursework required for trade certifications.
  • Jos H. Lowenstein & Sons, Inc., a Brooklyn-based manufacturer of dye products for organic materials will receive $48,970 to train 108 employees in lean manufacturing techniques and supervisory skills.
  • Karp Associates, a Queens-based manufacturer and distributor of access doors, will receive $50,000 to train 40 employees. The training will cover organizational development measures and techniques, total productive maintenance, inventory planning and control, equipment operations methods, and employee development.
  • PDM Lithographers, a Queens-based commercial printer, will receive $50,000 to train three employees on a newly installed digital printing system.
  • Wei, Wei & Co., LLP., a full service accounting firm based in Queens, will receive $42,423 to train 22 employees in the use of financial management and accounting software.
  • Visual City Inc., a Queens-based manufacturer of in-store graphics, signage, and custom fabrications, will receive $50,000 to train 11 employees in accounting and graphic design technologies. Employees will also complete coursework required for trade certifications.

In an effort to link the City’s economic and workforce development initiatives, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg took an unprecedented step in July 2003, and consolidated the Department of Employment and the Department of Small Business Services. The result is a single agency that understands and responds to the needs of both businesses and their employees. The Division of Workforce Development is at the center of this relationship: connecting employers with a skilled workforce and providing employment services to the City’s adult jobseekers. These policies are put into action at the Workforce1 Career Centers. Operated in coordination with the New York State Department of Labor and the City University of New York, these Centers provide jobseekers with a full array of employment services including job placement, career advisement, job search counseling, and skills training. Workforce1 Career Centers are co-located with NYC Business Solutions Centers, which provide businesses with access to skilled labor through customized recruitment and training initiatives tailored to a company’s specific needs.

Job placements in the Workforce1 Career Centers have risen from 127 per quarter in April 2004 to over 4,000 per quarter presently. Through September 30, 2006, the Workforce1 System has placed a total of 23,293 jobseekers in employment, including 11,901 placements during the first three quarters of 2006. Additionally, NYC Business Solutions Hiring has served 35 different companies during the first three quarters of 2006 by placing 1,182 people with these companies, this is already an 87% increase over all of last year. The continued growth is driven by improved
coordination across the System, efficiencies gained by the adoption of new technology, and a focus on building longer-term, strategic employer relationships that deliver more jobs and repeat business.

NYC Business Solutions is the City’s primary point-of-contact for small business owners and entrepreneurs looking for a wide array of assistance. Created by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in 2004, NYC Business Solutions provides start-up assistance, access to financing and incentives, help with navigating government licensing and regulations, assistance with hiring and training, and free classes and workshops in a range of topics. NYC Business Solutions services can be accessed at one of the NYC Business Solutions Centers, which are located in all 5 boroughs, by logging on to, or by calling 311 and asking for “NYC Business Solutions.”

SBS makes it easier for companies in New York City to form, do business, and grow by providing direct assistance to businesses, fostering neighborhood development in commercial districts, promoting financial and economic opportunity among minority- and women-owned businesses, preparing New Yorkers for jobs, and linking employers with a skilled and qualified workforce.

  Contact: David Garlick (SBS) (212) 513-6318