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Queens Chronicle

JFK outreach center opens in Jamaica

Office a resource for those seeking job, contract opportunities during rebuild

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Posted: Thursday, March 21, 2019 10:30 am

From the time he first announced plans for a $13 billion reconstruction of John F. Kennedy International Airport, Gov. Cuomo has been promising that South and Southeast Queens would be well-served in terms of jobs, construction contracts, vending concessions and other economic benefits.

The Port Authority last Friday made its first down payment with the opening of the JKF Redevelopment Community Information Center. Civic leaders and elected officials led by U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Queens, Nassau) gathered last Friday at 144-33/35 Jamaica Ave. to cut the ribbon with office staff and PA officials.

“The new Queens outreach office at JFK will engage with local residents and connect them with jobs and opportunities, ensuring the local community is heard and its needs are met every step of the way throughout this historic redevelopment project,” Cuomo said in a statement issued by his office.

Those gathered at the ribbon cutting said the center will back Cuomo’s words with action.

A featured guest was Huntley Lawrence, director of aviation for the PA and a Queens native who graduated from August Martin High School, which has a large aviation program. He believes that the center will be a boon by helping individuals apply for jobs that will be available.

There also will be resources for businesses looking to be registered to bid on PA contracts. With 30 percent of the work slated for minority- and women-owned business enterprises, the center will help interested companies get certified.

“I look forward to the center serving you to fulfil that vision,” Lawrence said, adding that approximately $1.25 million of the $1.4 million spent refurbishing the center went to area businesses and contractors.

“This indeed is a great day,” Meeks said. He compared the potential benefits favorably to those the community received in connection with the JFK AirTrain after serious work began in 1997.

He said the lighting, the carpet on which guests were standing and just about everything else in the new offices secured through Queens vendors and contractors are but a sample of what is to come.

Others in attendance included Borough President Melinda Katz, Councilman Daneek Miller (D-St. Albans) and Assemblywoman Alicia Hyndman (D-Springfield Gardens). The center has a staff of five. It is open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Aside from jobs and business opportunities specific to JKF’s reconstruction, the center will offer information on job listings for the PA and its partners in the project including JetBlue Airlines, American Airlines, Terminal One Group; and the new TWA Hotel, which is opening in the coming weeks.

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