Last December, LaGuardia Community College won a bid to operate the $2.5 million Willets Point Workforce Program, part of the city's proposal to transform the so-called Iron Triangle into a modern residential and commercial megacomplex.
City Councilmen hit Willets Point job retraining plan
The program, expected to launch in late September or early October, is the largest and most comprehensive workforce training project ever included in an Economic Development Corporation redevelopment project, said agency spokesman Jeff Roberts.
As planned, the program will include English language and computer literacy classes, training for construction and automotive jobs, and assistance in landing internships and job interviews.
...Councilman Tony Avella called the program a crafted response to a recent letter in which 29 Council members refused to back the Willets Point plan unless "significant" changes are made - including providing help for displaced workers.
"To me, it's window-dressing," said Avella (D-Bayside). "It's an attempt to give some Council members some cover, so they can say, 'Oh, they are taking care of the workers.'"
...Councilman Hiram Monserrate questioned why the city would advance the program before the City Council has approved the overall Willets Point plan.
"The City of New York does not own property at this site," said Monserrate (D-Jackson Heights).
"If we haven't even had a contract of sale, how is it that we are moving forward in this way?"
Photo from Bridge and Tunnel Club