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The New Rochelle City Council has unanimously approved a new vocational training and business accelerator program to connect local residents and Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs) to jobs and contracting opportunities created by City-supported construction and development projects.
In a continuation of New Rochelle’s longstanding commitment to expanding diversity and inclusion in employment and business opportunities, the City has retained the Minority and Women Contractors and Developers Association (MWCDA) and Andromeda Community Initiative (ACI) to lead vocational training for 50 local residents and business acceleration programs for 10 MWBEs in 2022. If successful, this pilot program can be maintained or expanded.
“With our ambitious and innovative downtown development continuing to drive economic growth, New Rochelle’s partnership with MWCDA and ACI is a major step toward expanding opportunities for local residents and Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises,” said New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson. “This is one of many initiatives illustrating our strong commitment to inclusive, equitable growth from which residents and businesses from all backgrounds are able to benefit.”
The updated redevelopment plan for New Rochelle’s downtown is strengthened by parallel commitments to bolster New Rochelle’s affordable housing policy, and create new recreational and pedestrian amenities, such as the LINC.
Since 2016, the City of New Rochelle has successfully launched several job training and business acceleration services – including the First Source Referral Center (FSRC) and partnerships with the Booker T. Washington Vocational Institute, Pathways to Apprenticeship, and the Hudson Valley Center for Innovation – helping hundreds of local residents and MWBEs overcome barriers to economic opportunities.
“It’s absolutely critical that the jobs and opportunities for small businesses created by New Rochelle’s downtown revitalization support local residents and Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises representing the vast diversity of our community,” said New Rochelle City Manager Charles B. Strome III. “This job training and business acceleration program is a positive step for increasing diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the city.”
“We’re extremely proud to help the City of New Rochelle build the capacity of its community and overcome barriers that prevent local residents and Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs) from participating in the marketplace of contractors and developers,” said Kenneth Thomas, co-founder of Minority and Women Contractors and Developers Association (MWCDA). “Equipping local residents and MWBEs with hands-on training, job placement and business acceleration services is an illustrative example of forward-thinking, inclusive development that allows all members of the community to meaningfully take advantage of the economic opportunities before us.”
Accelerated by a novel, fast-track zoning process and the use of generic environmental reviews, New Rochelle’s unprecedented redevelopment initiative, which launched in 2015 with the signing of a Master Developer agreement with RXR Realty, has made the city a regional magnet for investment. Since the inception of this framework, New Rochelle has experienced unprecedented economic growth, attracting $2.2 billion in private investment with thirty-two projects approved totaling 9.2 million square feet. Eight are already completed, with lease-up exceeding 90%, and 12 more are under construction, all within an area that is compact, walkable, transit-served, and highly diverse — exactly the kind of setting in which growth makes the most sense and does the most good.
The City of New Rochelle’s vocational training for local residents and business acceleration programs for MWBEs will increase by 100 local residents and 20-30 MWBEs in each subsequent year after 2022, if renewed.