The New York City Economic Development Corp. and RAL Development Services have broken ground on the Union Square Tech Training Center.
“The new Tech Training Center will be a hub for local residents to gain new skills, network, and plug into the City's thriving tech scene,” said Vicki Been, deputy mayor for Housing and Economic Development.
The 240,000-square-foot building is expected to be completed in 2020. The plans for this $250 million tech hub were first revealed in February 2017.
The 21-story building will include a digital skills training space where New Yorkers can gain the experience and knowledge needed to thrive in a modern, digital economy and provide affordable offices and resources for startups and established companies to grow and hire within the building.
Technology spans every industry from fashion to media to finance, and tech companies and careers now account for nearly 300,000 jobs in New York City. NYCEDC anticipates that the Tech Training Center will create more than 550 permanent jobs and more than 600 construction jobs.
“With tech jobs surging by 38 percent in New York City over the past seven years, it is imperative that job opportunities reach New Yorkers in the neighborhoods that need them most. That’s why I’m so excited to see ground break on the Union Square Tech Training Center, a first-in-the-nation, city-developed center that will provide free and subsidized tech training to thousands of low-income women and people of color, and connect them to subsidized spaces in the same building to grow their ideas into startups,” said Councilwoman Carlina Rivera. “The curriculum, some of which is currently being piloted with local community partners, is already creating new pathways to success for residents of the Lower East Side where I grew up, and I can't wait to see this center of excellence open.”
In addition to the Tech Training Center, the new 240,000-square-foot building will offer collaborative workspaces; modern, market-rate space for established, industry-leading corporations; and “step-up” offices with flexible and affordable leasing terms and options that are better suited to startups and growing companies. By co-locating workforce training organizations with startups and larger-scale tech companies, the building is designed to encourage collaboration and innovation. The center also will include a floor available to community organizations and a food hall/retail space that will feature small businesses and first-time entrepreneurs. RAL Development Services and Suffolk Construction have committed to a 35 percent minority- and women-owned business enterprise participation goal in construction jobs for the Union Square Tech Training Center, .
In 2016, New York’s tech sector set a new employment record of 128,600 jobs, and the number of tech firms in the city reached 7,600, an increase of 23 percent since 2010. Already a high-paying industry, total wages paid to workers in the sector doubled since 2010 to reach a record $18.9 billion in 2016. The Tech Training Center is a key component of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s New York Works plan to create 100,000 jobs during the next 10 years. The plan focuses on creating accessible jobs in technology, industrial, creative, life sciences and healthcare sectors.