To be claimed
Type: resolution Chamber: lower
Type: bill Chamber: lower
Type: resolution Chamber: lower
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the first of a series of initiatives targeting job opportunities, business opportunities, and training and education initiatives to benefit the local communities around JFK Airport as part of the $13 billion airport redevelopment program. The initiatives - the first of many under consideration as part of the airport's redevelopment - were developed by the JFK Advisory Council and cover three of the Council's main areas of focus: jobs in construction and airport operations for local residents in Southeast Queens, business opportunities for local businesses in Queens, and job training programs and educational opportunities for the community. "As we move forward with the modernization of JFK Airport, we want to ensure that the historic transformation of the airport will also lift up the surrounding Queens communities," Governor Cuomo said. "These initiatives will support businesses and help the local community find new jobs, providing an additional regional economic boost as we enter the next phase of the airport redevelopment." "As part of our statewide workforce development efforts, we are committed to expanding employment opportunities as part of the JFK Airport redevelopment project," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "With this significant transformation, we are providing job seekers and business owners with the connections and resources they need. The JFK modernization project will improve the traveler experience, strengthen our economy, create good jobs, and help to ensure future success for local residents and businesses." The JFK Redevelopment partners - consisting of the Port Authority, The New Terminal One, Jetblue-JFK Millennium Partners, and American Airlines - alongside the Advisory Council announced the following four new initiatives: -A job recruiting program to match job seekers in the local community with jobs in construction and airport operations; the program will be carried out by dedicated staff at offices in Jamaica and Far Rockaway focused on filling open positions with qualified Queens residents.-A second chance employment initiative targeted on providing jobs to formerly incarcerated individuals and others with past involvement in the criminal justice system. This program involves a commitment by the Port Authority, terminal operators, and other employers in the redevelopment program to interview individuals with a justice touch point from the local communities for jobs associated with both airport construction and airport operations.-A new science and technology education program for 300 local students grades 1-12 in Queens to encourage them to seek out jobs in aviation; this program will be carried out through a local partnership with York College building on a successful prior STEM program.-A two-part initiative focused on providing concession opportunities to local retailers and restaurants. First, The New Terminal One has made a major commitment to reserve at least 50% of food and beverage venues for New York City-based restaurants which will include a significant focus on Queens-based businesses. Second, the Port Authority and JFK Airport will roll out an extensive training program to enable and equip local small businesses to qualify and compete for other future concessions opportunities as part of JFK redevelopment. In addition to these four initiatives, the JFK Redevelopment partners will continue to work with the Advisory Council and the community to advance additional community-focused programs throughout the redevelopment specifically related to a variety of community benefits including: job opportunities, small business outreach and development, education for local residents, and environmental stewardship. The JFK Redevelopment Community Advisory Council was created in October 2018 by Governor Cuomo. It is co-chaired by Representative Gregory Meeks and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and is composed of elected officials, community boards, nonprofit organizations, civic organizations and clergy leaders in the targeted communities of Southeast Queens, Southwest Queens, the Rockaways and Western portions of Nassau County. Since its inception, the Advisory Council has been working with the Port Authority to expand community outreach efforts, ensuring that this ambitious project solicits ongoing feedback from local stakeholders and provides meaningful opportunities for local businesses, Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE) and jobseekers. This includes a commitment to the Governor's nation-leading goal of 30 percent utilization of MWBEs, which applies to all aspects of the Redevelopment. The Advisory Council meets quarterly in public settings throughout the targeted communities. Four committees - Business Development, Career/Workforce Development, Education and Environmental Stewardship - also hold public meetings on a regular basis at which the Port Authority, the terminal developers, committee members and other community members discuss strategies and programs to provide opportunities for local businesses, jobseekers and students interested in aviation. Representative Gregory Meeks said, "Since I began co-chairing the JFK Advisory Council with Borough President Melinda Katz, we have fought to make sure that this development was, at its core, working for and led by the people in our community. I am proud to announce these new initiatives, which will further ensure that contracts are going to our local businesses, that the people of Queens will find meaningful employment, and that investment is being made in our schools to prepare students for the STEM careers of tomorrow. Additionally, I welcome the Council for Airport Opportunity's expansion to Far Rockaway, helping more people learn about these initiatives closer to home. This combined with the MWBE commitments we've already secured will make the JFK redevelopment not just an investment in our infrastructure, but an investment in the working families of Queens." Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. said, "The JFK Airport has not only been a source of great commerce and economic benefit for our city and state, but also a source of thousands of credible jobs for our local residents. I am thankful to see that this tradition of accessible job growth and opportunity continues. I truly appreciate the efforts of all involved with the JFK Redevelopment." Senator Todd Kaminsky said, "It is essential that the redevelopment of JFK Airport be done while simultaneously uplifting the surrounding communities and its residents. Today's announcement solidifies the commitment that as JFK is redeveloped, the focus is on hiring our neighbors and teaching STEM to our children." Senator James Sanders Jr. said, "The JFK Redevelopment Project has the greatest potential to bring quality jobs and extensive economic development to Southeast Queens in a very long time. The Governor's initiative towards matching workers, entrepreneurs, and youth with these opportunities is a worthy first step, since it is only fitting that the people who are most affected by the redevelopment reap the most benefits. I look forward to seeing a continuation on this path and evaluating the results of this initiative as it progresses." Assembly Member Vivian E. Cook said, "JFK Airport plays a vital role in the Southeast Queens community, and the JFK Redevelopment Project will bring promising economic growth to such an important part of our area. We appreciate Governor Cuomo's dedication to ensuring Queens residents have access to local, quality jobs, and we look forward to seeing the positive effects it has on Queens students, business owners, and workers." Assembly Member Alicia L. Hyndman said, "As a proud member of the JFK Redevelopment Community Advisory Council (Advisory Council) and Co-Chair of its Education Committee, I am pleased to stand alongside our JFK Redevelopment Partners, Congressman Meeks, Borough President Katz and my colleagues in Queens to ensure that our residents are included and can benefit from the $13 billion redevelopment program. Recycling dollars into increasing local hiring efforts, a strong commitment to second chance employment opportunities, expanding the pipeline, supporting STEM education and a 50% NYC-based local concessions goal all speak to the hard work and liked-minds pushing our community and its people forward. There is more to do, and more to come, but with commitments like these at the forefront, we are building a better and inclusive Queens we can all be proud of. We are focused on a thorough and meaningful Southeast Queens legacy." Assembly Member Stacey Pheffer Amato said, "The continued redevelopment of JFK has allowed residents, businesses, and communities to benefit through economic incentives. I commend Governor Cuomo for bringing these trainings and educational opportunities to South Queens and encourage everyone to take advantage! I look forward to seeing the progress made on the airport, and am hopeful that it will go a long way in improving the lives of New Yorkers and visitors alike." Assembly Member Michaelle Solages said, "This redevelopment project has been a great example of how to create private and public partnerships that enable communities to participate and benefit from the economic activity in their localities. I look forward to continuing to work with this coalition of community leaders, stakeholders, and the Port Authority of NY & NJ to bring JFK's infrastructure into the 21st century, as well as extend workforce opportunities to commonly overlooked and at-risk populations. It is essential that sustainable and long-term community-based initiatives be established to ensure that all residents can have continual access to all of JFK airport economic possibilities." Assembly Member Michele Titus said, "The modernization of JFK Airport is not only on pace to deliver world-class air transportation; it will bring additional dining and retail options that will enhance employment opportunities for job seekers in our local communities. I commend Governor Cuomo's job hiring initiative as it will spur economic growth and strengthen our overall economy." Assembly Member Clyde Vanel said, "We are excited at the opportunity for training the local community to work and thrive in all aspects of the redevelopment, including the field of aviation. We envision more pilots, aircraft mechanics, air traffic controllers to come from this airport community. I applaud for governor for making training and job creation a priority." Queens Borough President Melinda Katz said, "The $13 billion redevelopment of Kennedy Airport is more than a crucial investment in the infrastructure of our city. It is a steadfast commitment to creating opportunities -- be it employment, economic or educational -- for the growing families who call the adjacent neighborhoods home. Local and second-chance hiring, engaging neighborhood small businesses and uplifting the next generation of aeronautic engineers are pillars of this redevelopment plan, and these initiatives will be hallmarks of this overhaul of Kennedy into a top-flight airport befitting of Queens and of New York in the 21st century." Council Member Adrienne Adams said, "The redevelopment of JFK airport will not only provide a world-class terminal for New Yorkers but will significantly benefit the surrounding communities. I look forward to these continued community opportunities that will help so many local students, prospective employees and business owners. I applaud the efforts of the Port Authority for their efforts to remain inclusive of the Southeast Queens community by creating new jobs and new opportunities for those directly impacted by this redevelopment." Council Member I. Daneek Miller said, "We are delighted with the work of the JFK Advisory Council in developing these four new programs. Our priority from day one has been ensuring that this process includes benefits to our constituency in Southeast Queens, and the programs announced today will go a long way in doing so. The initiatives touch on a lot of different needs in our community, from jobs to educational opportunities, and we look forward to their implementation." Council Member Donovan Richards said, "The redevelopment of JFK airport must serve to stimulate the local community and thankfully that is exactly what these new initiatives will do for communities like Southeast Queens and the Rockaways. Expanding local hiring efforts, second chance employment opportunities and supporting STEM education will ensure that the local community will have a direct line of access to improvements coming into the neighborhood and provide the economic boost Southeast Queens and the Rockaways need. I'd like to thank Governor Cuomo and the Port Authority for their commitment to lifting up Queens through dedicated outreach and programming for local residents in need of an opportunity." Rick Cotton, Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said, "The JFK Advisory Council initiatives announced today are just the beginning. These first major programs focus on opportunities for jobs for Queens residents in construction and airport operations, second chance employment, science and technology education for Queens students and concession opportunities for Queens businesses. The Port Authority looks forward to working with Governor Cuomo, Congressman Meeks, Borough President Katz and the entire Advisory Council to advance and implement programs like these throughout the JFK Redevelopment Project. Dr. Gerrard P. Bushell, Executive Chair of The New Terminal One at JFK, said, "The redevelopment of JFK is a mission critical project. The New Terminal One Project Team is positioned to deliver a world-class airport; and advance jobs, education, and business opportunities across Southeast Queens. We intend to drive excellence, impact, and inclusion through early engagement and the partnerships we are forging with New York State, the Port Authority, and residents across Queens and communities neighboring JFK. We are also proud to be supporting local concessions providers with our goal of over 50% NYC-based restaurants and our plans to enable small businesses to overcome the traditional barriers of operating in an airport environment. In addition to building capacity and stimulating the local economy, the strong local presence and diverse flavors will showcase New York City, and Queens in particular, to the world." Icema Gibbs, JetBlue Director of Corporate Social Responsibility, said, "JetBlue is New York's Hometown Airline, and having partnered with organizations like the CAO and York College for many years, we could not be more pleased to see investment from JFK Redevelopment expand and catalyze their important impact in our Queens community. JetBlue and JFK Millennium Partners will continue to partner with the Advisory Council and our colleagues in the local community to ensure that the JFK Redevelopment creates meaningful impact for years to come." Michael J. Minerva, Vice President of Government and Airport Affairs at American Airlines, said, "Today's announcement is a win-win for the airport community and the communities that surround JFK. At American, caring for people throughout life's journey is core to our mission and we embrace our responsibility to help create a brighter future for all. We appreciate the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, Congressman Meeks, Borough President Katz and the JFK Redevelopment Committee for their dedication to this vision." Berenecea J. Eanes, Interim President of York College, said, "On behalf of York College, CUNY, I thank the JFK Redevelopment partners for its $3 million pledge support of the College's MUREP program, positioning it to offer an even more robust experience for young community members with the addition of an aviation component. Through this partnership, we will continue to serve the next generation of budding STEM students. We are One York." Andrew Campbell, Executive Director, Council for Airport Opportunity, said, "CAO is excited to expand our services to the southeast Queens community and to help the local residents connect to the economic opportunities being generated by the JFK redevelopment." Kevin Alexander, President & CEO, Rockaway Development & Revitalization Corporation, said, "We are very excited about the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey (PANY&NJ) most recent commitments to the Southeast Queens community. The expansion of Council for Airport Opportunities (CAO) into the Rockaways in collaboration with the Rockaway Development & Revitalization Corporation (RDRC) is a huge step by the PANY&NJ to increase employment and career opportunities for local residents created by the JFK Expansion Project. We are also pleased by the PANY&NJ's commitment to support formerly incarcerate persons who are eager to move forward and not be continually denied opportunities to lead productive and positive lives by partnering with community-based organizations to establish a second chance pathways to employment initiative." Kevin Livingston, Founder, 100 Suits for 100 Men, said, "On behalf of 100Suits and as a lifelong Jamaica, Queens resident I am very excited about the opportunities coming to our second chance community in South East Queens." Andre Ward, Associate Vice President of the David Rothenberg Center for Public Policy at The Fortune Society, said, "People with criminal histories face roadblocks at every step along their journey to becoming contributing members of their communities. None is more damaging than employment discrimination. Give a person a job and you not only strengthen their chances at success, but you also build stronger families, communities and a more robust economy. The Port Authority's Second Chance Employment Program is an extraordinary opportunity for Fortune's hardworking and deserving clients. We are proud to partner with the Port in this unprecedented effort and we applaud Rick Cotton's vision and his commitment to social justice. Removing barriers to employment for justice-involved people is not just a moral imperative, it's also good business." Bryan D. White, Executive Director, The Thomas White Jr. Foundation, said, "Providing an opportunity for people to better their lives through gainful employment is all of our responsibility as a community. As we continue a legacy in helping provide second chances, The Thomas White Jr. Foundation is honored to be a part of this partnership and initiative." Julio Medina, Executive Director, Exodus Transitional Community, said, "Exodus Transitional Community looks forward to a long and fruitful partnership with the NY/NJ Port Authority and the Office of Second Chance Employment on the JFK Redevelopment Project - a project that will lead to thousands of jobs for New Yorkers. As we all know, current barriers and stigma often prevent justice-involved people from securing employment. In fact, people with criminal records are 50% less likely to be employed because of their history. Through our partnership, justice-involved New Yorkers will have equitable access to employment opportunities in careers. And, some will even have opportunities in Unionized positions. Our partnership with the Second Chance Employment Program goes far beyond providing them with qualified job candidates. We look forward to working to ensure our folks have equal opportunities to employment, receive adequate onboarding and opportunities for professional development, and that we can direct people to appropriate training and educational resources to positions for which they are passionate about. In addition, we look forward to advocating for changes in state and federal laws to ensure we continue to rid our society of the barriers justice-involved people often face, and potentially open new areas of employment with the NY/NJ Port Authority." Erica Ford, CEO, Life Camp Inc., said, "When we invest in a community -- we must invest in the people who live in that community. It's so important that the Port Authority partners with local community-based organizations in southeast Queens to bring resources and career opportunities to those often forgotten in the world's borough. We're glad to see Port Authority doing this intentional building. LIFE Camp is excited to be partnering and building with Port Authority in bringing more resources and opportunities into southeast Queens. Together, we're on the road towards co-producing public safety and making peace a LIFEstyle." Eliot G. (Lee) Sander, President, Americas Region, Bombardier Transportation, said, "As the provider of operations and maintenance services for AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark, Bombardier is committed to working with the Port Authority, our long-time customer, and local community based organizations to increase employment opportunities for those seeking a 'second chance.' At the same time, this new initiative will help us realize our ambition of being recognized as an inclusive, accessible and attractive employer." Dominick D'Alonzo, Vice President, Cow Bay Contracting, said, "Cow Bay welcomes the opportunity to offer not so much as a second chance but an opportunity for a new beginnings for new team members. We are excited to be part of this worthy cause" Job Creation Through Airport Redevelopment Announced today, a major job recruiting program for the Queens community will seek to match local job seekers with positions in both airport construction and airport operations. The target of this recruiting program is future job openings in the 15,000 jobs at the airport and the 4,000 construction jobs expected during the five year construction period. To ensure that employment opportunities related to the JFK Redevelopment are as accessible as possible, the JFK jobs program will enhance outreach to underserved neighborhoods in Jamaica, Far Rockaway and the surrounding communities. A new Far Rockaway office at the Rockaway Development and Revitalization Corporation will open by Spring 2020 and will have four dedicated staff members focused on connecting local residents to Redevelopment employment opportunities. Additional outreach and recruiting support staff will be based at the Council for Airport Opportunity's (CAO) main Jamaica office. This job recruiting program will utilize a number of approaches: securing commitments from developers and operators to join seminars and webinars with job seekers; sharing job postings widely and early in the hiring process; sending representatives to job fairs and other hiring events; identifying a designated point person for hiring efforts who will work hand in hand with CAO staff; and agreeing to first source applicants for open positions through sharing hiring data with CAO. The JFK Redevelopment Project partners have committed $3 million to fund this recruiting effort. "Second Chance" Employment Initiative Among the top workforce priorities in the Queens community and for the Advisory Council is ensuring employment opportunities for formerly incarcerated individuals and others with past involvement in the criminal justice system. The Second Chance Employment initiative announced today responds to that priority by opening a brand new Office for Second Chance Employment (OSCE) to link major airport employers associated with the redevelopment with local organizations with experience in the area including the Fortune Society, Thomas White Jr Foundation, 100 Suits, Exodus Transitional Services, and Life Camp. The project has commitments from five major employers (and is committed to recruiting a majority of the major employers at JFK) to interview individuals with a justice touch point for 25% of jobs eligible for the program. OSCE will look to forge partnerships with other organizations to join this initiative. To maximize the chances for successful employment matches, the effort will focus on "landside" employment at NY airports (i.e., jobs not requiring access to the post-TSA checkpoint areas of the airport) and, where appropriate, non-aviation employment opportunities. The Port Authority has identified six primary areas in which it contracts out for services (landscaping, general contracting, facility management, bus operations, parking operations, and outreach) and three primary areas for internal hiring (operations and maintenance, customer service and administrative/clerical) for initial opportunities. In addition, the Port Authority will host a training seminar for its contractors with the Criminal Justice Employment Initiative at Cornell University. Participating companies will learn about the benefits of hiring from the "second chance" population, including financial incentives available to them, and how to expand understanding of how to work with this population throughout their organizations. STEM Opportunities for Students The JFK Redevelopment Project will support the launch of a science and technology education program for roughly 300 Queens school children entering grades 1-12. Based at York College in Jamaica, Queens and given the close ties to the airport and local community, the STEM program will have a focus on aviation and encourage students to pursue jobs in the aviation and aeronautics field. This initiative builds off the SEMAA (Science Engineering Mathematics and Aerospace Academy) program which was launched in 1999 with support from Congressman Meeks and funding from NASA. While this program was at risk of being eliminated due to budget cuts at the federal level, JFK Redevelopment has committed to continue and expand the program for four (4) years and to expand the summer session from one (1) week of half day sessions to [four (4)] weeks of full day sessions while maintaining the Saturday sessions [4 Saturdays in the Fall and 4 in Spring]. The expanded program will be relaunched in summer of 2020. The JFK Project will contribute $3 million to launch this project with the potential to expand in the future. 50% NYC-based Concessions Goal at JFK's New Terminal One and Concessions Training Program First, as part of this initiative aimed at creating opportunities for local business, The New Terminal One in announcing today its commitment to a goal of at least 50% of food/beverage venues to be reserved for New York City-based restaurants with a specific focus on Queens-based businesses. The New Terminal One will build out and fund dedicated vendor stalls for smaller local players with limited access to capital, one of the key obstacles to competing at the airport. This will allow smaller local vendors--potentially on a rotating basis--to gain exposure by operating on a temporary, seasonal, or flexible term basis. The Port Authority is working with the other terminal operators to establish similar goals that will further promote New York City-based restaurants throughout the airport. Second, with respect to concessions at JFK, the JFK Redevelopment Project is announcing its commitment to a new, multifaceted program that will provide trainings and annual conferences to local businesses to help them compete for future airport concessions opportunities. The program will cover how to operate in an airport environment, including topics such as legal structures (e.g., joint ventures and partnerships), financing, bidding and contracting, design and construction issues, and operating challenges while providing opportunities for networking with airport terminal operators and will continue throughout the five-year period of the Redevelopment project. Background on JFK Redevelopment Community Information Center Working with the Advisory Council, the redevelopment project seeks to spur regional job growth in Southeast Queens and surrounding communities, as well as new business opportunities for qualified MWBEs and local businesses. In March, a new community outreach office at 144-33 & 35 Jamaica Ave in Jamaica, Queens opened to the public serving as the central resource for job and contracting opportunities, training, business development, and access to educational opportunities for local residents. The JFK Redevelopment Community Information Center will provide extensive engagement with the surrounding neighborhood and other community stakeholders during the life of the JFK Redevelopment program. Project Background As part of the JFK Vision Plan, JetBlue- JFK Millennium Partners are constructing a $3 billion, 1.2 million-square-foot- terminal on the airport's north side that will connect to JetBlue's existing Terminal 5. The New Terminal One, a $7 billion 2.8 million-square-foot terminal on the airport's south side, will occupy the area where the existing Terminals 1 and 2 are located, in addition to the area left vacant when Terminal 3 was demolished in 2014. The New Terminal One will be developed by an innovative coalition of airlines, labor, minority- and women-owned businesses, and strong operating and financial partners including The Carlyle Group and CAG Holdings, JLC Infrastructure, Ullico and Munich Airport International. American Airlines and British Airways will invest $344 million over the next three years to renovate Terminal 8, which will gain roughly 70,400 square feet of space. Terminal 8 will be dramatically upgraded with improved baggage systems, premium check-in space, and additional concessions. In May, the TWA Hotel located just outside Terminal 5 opened its doors to the public, creating a thoroughly modern hotel in the historic building constructed in 1962. The project created 3,000 construction jobs and roughly 795 hotel jobs. Half of the hotel's employees are from Queens and half of those are from the communities neighboring JFK. Seventy-eight percent of the hotel staff are minorities and 51% are women. The hotel includes 512 guest rooms with views of the entire airport. The hotel incorporates the historic TWA terminal, 50,000 square feet of event space, a 10,000-square-foot observation deck and rooftop pool, and a 10,000 square-foot, state-of-the art fitness facility for guests. As part of the JFK Vision Plan, the redevelopment also calls for increasing the number and size of gates, improving parking availability, adding an array of airside taxiway improvements to reduce gate congestion, upgrading the AirTrain JFK system to handle increased passenger capacity, and enhancing roadways on and off the airport. The New York State Department of Transportation has targeted $1.5 billion in highway improvements, including improvements to the Van Wyck Expressway and the Kew Gardens Interchange. In response to guidance from the Advisory Council and other community stakeholders, the Port Authority has also launched an online survey for local Queens-based businesses, especially MWBEs near the John F. Kennedy International Airport, as part of the agency's commitment to expanding opportunities in Queens through the $13 billion JFK Redevelopment Program. The survey aims to identify businesses that provide design, construction, professional services, transportation, machinery, labor, concessions, operations and maintenance services in the communities around JFK Airport: southeast Queens, southwest Queens, the Rockaways, Elmont, Valley Stream and the Five Towns. The survey is available at https://www.anewjfk.com/survey/.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation (S.1092-B/A.6325-C) prohibiting the performance or supervision of a pelvic exam on an anesthetized or unconscious person without informed consent. The legislation also makes it professional misconduct to perform unauthorized pelvic exams. This legislation takes effect in 180 days. "No one should ever have to question what was done to their body when undergoing anesthesia or otherwise unconscious in a healthcare setting," Governor Cuomo said. "It is a blatant and completely unacceptable abuse of trust for any doctor or healthcare provider to perform an exam that was not previously consented to by the patient, and with this new measure we are making crystal clear that this repugnant behavior will be punished accordingly." Senator Roxanne J. Persaud said, "Thank you to Governor Cuomo for signing this important piece of legislation and ending this immoral behavior. Pelvic examinations while a necessity, should not be used as an arbitrary teaching tool at the whim of medical practitioners. A patient has enough to worry about when surgery is needed without the additional trauma of wondering if multiple persons who are not on their medical team will invade their most private body parts. Informed consent will prevent this from happening. No one should have to worry about what unauthorized procedure can be done to their anesthetized body." Assemblymember Michaelle C. Solages said, "The practice of performing non-consensual pelvic examinations on unconscious patients is intrusive and unnecessary. With trust being so vital to the healthcare profession, New York State must take every measure possible to ensure that medical procedures meet the highest ethical standards. I am proud to join Senator Persaud in banning this invasive practice and codifying an added layer of protection for patients. I commend Governor Cuomo for signing this bill into law."
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the completion of the Path to the Park Project, a $3.8 million undertaking to transform a beloved stretch of public greenway along the northwestern shoreline of Hook Creek in South Valley Stream. The project, carried out by the Governor's Office of Storm Recovery in partnership with the Town of Hempstead, enhances the community's resiliency against future storm events, promotes waterfront access and provides additional opportunities for recreation. "In New York, we are making historic investments in our communities to ensure they are prepared to withstand the new threats of extreme weather and climate change," Governor Cuomo said. "These significant improvements will help protect this valuable stretch of green space from anything Mother Nature throws its way, while expanding recreational opportunities and access to the waterfront for residents." "Long Island was hit hard by Superstorm Sandy in 2012, and we have been committed to working to rebuild homes and businesses. We are making significant investments to improve storm resiliency and strengthen infrastructure on Long Island and across the state," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who made today's announcement. "This project in South Valley Stream will further help to prevent future flooding and promote waterfront recreation on Long Island. This investment is part of our overall goal to increase energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gases, and combat climate change for a cleaner and safer environment for New Yorkers." Developed through the NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program, the Path to the Park Project included bulkhead reconstruction, stormwater quality improvements and aesthetic upgrades to boost quality of life for residents while bolstering flood, hurricane, and stormwater control with bioswales overflow structures along the shoreline. The project also incorporated green infrastructure measures including a new living shoreline and vegetative buffer, enhanced wetlands, removal of a former bridge abutment and construction of a new berm for supplemental surge protection. The project also constructed a new pedestrian pathway with educational signage, scenic overlook areas, wild flower plantings and a pollinator garden. The pathway extends southwest from Mill Road, before veering west through a residential neighborhood connecting to Forest Road. Paired with the creation of a kayak launch near Columbine Lane, these features amplify recreational opportunities on Long Island. Executive Director of the NY Rising Community Reconstruction and Infrastructure Programs for GOSR, Alana Agosto said, "The Path to the Park Project is a true embodiment of what the NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program is all about - projects developed by New Yorkers, for New Yorkers that are now being brought to fruition across the state. Through the NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program, Governor Cuomo has provided municipalities like the Town of Hempstead with the resources and framework for producing meaningful change. We are so proud to see this cross-functional project come to life for the residents of South Valley Stream and Long Island as a whole." Senator Todd Kaminsky said, "The increased severity and frequency of future storms on Long Island means that we must make a substantial investment in the resiliency of South Valley Stream. This community has suffered from flooding for too long, and this project will help strengthen the shoreline by mitigating future storm damage and reducing flooding. I applaud Governor Cuomo for his leadership in this important area." Assemblymember Michaelle C. Solages said, "Severe weather is becoming the norm as the climate crisis worsens. Although the recovery process is not over, the Path to the Park Project is a step forward in addressing the after-effects of Super-storm Sandy. Using grassroots community outreach, New York State is working to improve the quality of life of homeowners in South Valley Stream. This multi-million dollar sustainable infrastructure investment will enhance our region's storm resiliency while creating a recreational space for our community. I would like to extend my appreciation to all of the residents that provided input on the project as well as to the state and local municipalities. We are building back, stronger than ever." Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said, "Thanks to robust support from Governor Cuomo, we are building a more environmentally-sustainable and resilient Nassau County. The Path to Park Project is a great example of how we can improve quality of life for our residents by building green infrastructure that protects and beautifies for generations to come." Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen said, "Rebuilding our infrastructure to protect the residents of Valley Stream from the next storm has been a top priority since entering office. The new improvements will protect thousands of lives and millions of dollars' worth of property, while providing residents with a tranquil waterfront setting to relax and experience nature. The Town is grateful to Governor Cuomo and his office for providing the Town with the needed resources for this critical project." More than 650 New Yorkers served on 66 NY Rising Community Reconstruction Planning Committees across the State and proposed hundreds of projects inspired by the unique needs and assets of their regions. Now in the implementation stage, GOSR works with a variety of municipal, county and non-profit partner to bring locally-devised proposals to fruition. Funding for projects such as the Path to the Park Project come on top of the $1 billion already disbursed directly to New York homeowners through the NY Rising Housing Recovery Program. Established in June 2013, GOSR coordinates statewide recovery efforts for Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. Through its NY Rising Housing Recovery, Small Business, Community Reconstruction, Infrastructure and Rebuild by Design programs, GOSR invests $4.5 billion in federal Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery funding to better prepare New York for extreme weather events. More information about GOSR and its programs is available online at http://stormrecovery.ny.gov/.