Sunday, December 4, 2011
Developers' promises are always empty
From the Brooklyn Paper:
The organization that promised to deliver jobs for black supporters of Atlantic Yards has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from developer Bruce Ratner to help train workers for the positions — but has only secured work for 15 people at the $5-billion mega-project.
The mostly black members of Brooklyn United for Innovative Local Development who were promised some of the 1,500 jobs per year over the project’s 10-year buildout loudly supported Atlantic Yards during the approval process, often appearing in hard hats at rallies and hearings and presenting a contrasting face to the project’s mostly white opponents.
BUILD’s President James Caldwell said that the group has helped 400 people find work around town — but he admitted that only 15 of those positions were on Ratner’s Prospect Heights development, which currently consists of only the under-construction Barclays Center near the corner of Flatbush and Atlantic avenues.
Residents filed a lawsuit against Ratner and BUILD last Tuesday in federal court, claiming that executives at BUILD and Ratner’s company falsely promised them union memberships and jobs in exchange for completing a “sham” 15-week training program run by the Downtown nonprofit in 2010.