Transcript: Mayor Eric Adams, Governor Kathy Hochul Unveil Plan for First-of-its-Kind Job and Educat – nyc.gov


October 13, 2022
Andrew Kimball, President and CEO of the New York City Economic Development Corporation: … Andrew Kimball, and I’m thrilled to be here today with all of you to announce this exciting, new, pathbreaking project. We’re joined here today by Governor Hochul, Mayor Adams, Deputy Mayor Torres-Springer, CUNY Chancellor Rodriguez, CUNY Chair Bill Thompson, First Deputy Mayor Lorraine Grillo, Chief of Staff Frank Carone, Council Member Keith Powers, former First Deputy Mayor Dean Fuleihan. Our partners at DOE, Health + Hospitals, the School Construction Authority, and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, along with a slew of community and labor leaders. This project is a big deal. It takes a village to build it, and all of us are here together and thank you. As the city’s economic development arm, today’s announcement represents a pathbreaking approach to economic development where we’re bringing together industry, education, employment, and private investment all in one campus.
Coming off the heels of the pandemic we see more than ever that investment is needed in public health, education, and life sciences. And our success moving forward will be about how we prepare future generations and connect our young people to jobs in these fields equitably. We believe this project will achieve these goals while diversifying our economy in supporting its resiliency long-term. Now to share more about this remarkable project and historic partnership, it’s my great pleasure to announce the governor of New York, Kathy Hochul.
Governor Kathy Hochul: Good morning. Making the magic happen every single day, right mayor? That’s how we roll. That’s how we roll. I am so glad to be here today, joined by the distinguished individuals, starting with our mayor. Partnerships that are real, they’re genuine, they’re based on trust, faith, and a common purpose to lift up the people of our city and our state. So let’s give another round of applause to our great mayor, Eric Adams, Félix Matos Rodríguez, our chancellor — thank you for being the steward of the opportunities that lie before thousands of young people to have their lives turned around so dramatically with the power of an education. So to our chancellor, we thank you for all you do. We also have our chair of the trustees, Keith Powers. Thank you for your engagement in supporting and elevating local projects.
I know a little bit about New York City. They’re not always easy to get done and it takes leadership at the local level as well. So thank you. I spent 14 years as a Council member. I’ve felt your pain, but also when there’s a big win, you need to be part of that as well— and you are. So thank you. I know Brad Hoylman’s here. Yes? No? Brad may be here. Gary LaBarbera: Where’s Gary? Gary. Okay, good.
Gary, do you have enough workers for all the jobs we’re giving you these days? Okay, don’t be sitting here. Get out there and get me more workers. We have so much work to be done here in the state of New York. I’m so grateful for his support of this, but also all the products that we’re going to be talking about going for. Jennifer Raab, the president of Hunter College. Let’s give a round of applause to Jennifer Raab. Thank you Jennifer, thank you. Andrew Kimball, CEO of economic development for the city, part of the dream team. I had my dream team as well with James Katz, our deputy secretary for economic development. Robert (inaudible) was all over this helping us out — and of course the highest position, appointed position in state government, Karen Persichilli Keogh, who worked with Frank Carone to get this over the finish line. I’m grateful for them.
I mentioned what a great week this has been — upstate, downstate just within the last week announcing the largest private investment in our state’s history. $100 billion invested by a semiconductor manufacturer that could have gone anywhere. Thought they might have looked at another place called Texas and we won the deal. And I’m proud of that. I don’t mind bringing up that one.
But then, within days to be able to close the deal on the mayor’s most significant achievement in his short tenure as mayor, our first meeting, we met a lot — all he talked about was this project. It was, get this done, this can be transformative, it can give people the chance to get a good job, a good education, an opportunity, have different healthcare outcomes, bring the smartest and brightest to a common place, a campus, which will be extraordinary. He had this vision, and our teams working together were able to break through decades of roadblocks and hurdles that needed just the commitment, the ability to get things done and just roll up the sleeves and work together. What a radical idea. City and state working together. How about that? How about that?
So dreams do come true. Dreams do come true. And I also think back, as Andrew mentioned, how focused we are now on healthcare more than ever. Something that we all took for granted for a long time. And then you get slammed with a global pandemic right here, the epicenter, New York City, and all of a sudden you’re starting to say, “Wow, do we have enough healthcare workers? Do we have people with the skills they need? Do we have the facilities? Will we be able to handle this again if it happens again next year?” That’s why we’re studying how we got through this. We’re going to have a report, a blueprint, but we also have to say, “Let’s use this opportunity while the attention is focused on the needs of the healthcare industry. Let’s do some magnificent things.” So I want to make sure that we build the very best healthcare system in the world.
We have what it takes. We have the will, we have the political clout necessary, we have the leadership, the local level. There’s nothing stopping us now. And I believe we can revolutionize the delivery of healthcare for all New Yorkers. Sure, our work is cut out for us. We say bring it on. We embrace challenges. And even before the pandemic, we saw trends back in 2018 that our healthcare workforce would not meet the demands of our population. It was already shrinking, and also exacerbated by preexisting disparities in healthcare outcomes in communities of color. But all of a sudden, as I mentioned, this pandemic just put a laser focus a spotlight on all those problems and brought them to the bears. So now we have to focus on retaining our workforce, making sure we have enough nurses and doctors who are equipped with the tools they need. And if we know anything, it’s a focus of government as well.
And that’s why in my very first state of the state, my first budget, I put $10 billion on the table. A record amount of money, to say we have to lift up the hospitals and the healthcare systems and the providers, but also we have to have a new way to train more people and get them energized and excited to be willing to do what those brave heroes did during the pandemic. If only our healthcare angels, our healthcare workers or angels, everybody else, the brilliant minds behind the remedies, the therapies, they’d have to be the saints. And that confirms that New York truly is a place for miraculous things to happen. And that’s exactly what we’re doing here today. Today is a miracle. And to announce that the state and the city are coming together to build a science and research campus. I love the word spark. It sounds like electricity and energy.
Whoever came up with that, give them an extra drink tonight. On me, I’ll buy, what the heck. Right here in Kips Bay. Like I said, the mayor, all he’s talking about, “Do we do Kips Bay? Let’s do Kips Bay, Let’s do Kips Bay.” And this project is a 1.6 billion dollar joint, focused on the word joint— project. A joint investment. They say we’re going to break ground in a couple years. I’m not going to give you the numbers cause I already said, “Now you’re going to shave time off that aren’t you?” So I’m not going to give you any dates. That’s how we do it, right mayor? It’s like, okay, we see a year, slap off a couple. So I’m not going to tell you that one, but it’s been stalled. The old way of doing business is over. And I’m really, really proud that we are able to announce this today. So we will have the first of a kind innovation hub and enhance our reputation as a global leader in science, healthcare, public health, creating the jobs of the future.
And this is what gets me so excited. We have a need, we have the demand, we have the young people in communities, particularly those that have been hardest hit. If we can make that connection to get them into the doors, to get the training, there’s no stopping us. But also the thousands and thousands of construction jobs as we continue to build, I need more people to go into our incredible workforce development programs. And we put $350 million on the table in our state budget, doubling the past investment in workforce, well, because this is how you bring it all together and establish a pipeline from our public schools to these dynamic careers. So we’re going to have a high school focused on this as well. This is brilliant, my friends. Absolutely brilliant to bring it all together in one place, serving over 4,500 students from the Hunter Bellevue School of Nursing.
So I’m excited. I think this is extraordinary and I’m also excited about the ability to generate revenue for this community, over $25 billion in economic impact over the next 30 years. So that also grabs my attention as we supercharge our economy overall in this post pandemic world. We are becoming the magnet. In case you haven’t noticed, people are leaving the other states. I noticed, because I’m calling CEOs every day. I wake up and I call CEOs in other states and they understand that the energy is flowing east. It’s not the West Coast, it’s not the South, it’s not Austin, it’s not the research triangle. They’re coming right here to New York and we have the data to verify. It’s an exciting time for all of us. So the construction jobs, the long term jobs are all transformative. Also, we invested $620 million in our budget in life sciences overall.
This is a part of that, but we’re going to keep going and I’m so excited to be able to announce that today is the day it all begins. I can’t wait to announce the day it’s all done. And we start welcoming the students back in here and we’ll move this along as fast as humanly possible. And again, it only happened because we had a mayor who stepped up and said, “We can do this, I believe we can do this if we work together.” Our teams were together day and night and it was complicated; people who were faint of heart may not have been able to endure what our teams went through.
But that’s how we get things done in New York. And I’m so proud to have the mayor as my friend and ally and someone who’s in sync with me in our efforts to lift this city up, lift our state up together. And that’s what today’s announcement is all about. With that, let me bring up our amazing mayor, Mayor Eric Adams, to talk about the city’s role in this great project. Thank you, Mayor Adams.
Mayor Eric Adams: Thank you. Thank you, governor, for your real partnership and for the opportunity to partner with you as we deal with the development of this area. And I cannot thank our team. Complications force communications. And to Deputy Mayor Maria Torres-Springer for having just a clear vision of the possibilities. I’m just so impressed to have five women running this city right now and guiding us with a clear vision. And you saw this, you came together with Andrew Kimball and the other parts of the team. This has been tried for many years and it was about being very clear without focus on how we were going to accomplish this task. And so I cannot thank this team enough for having the vision, of seeing what the possibilities are and what they should be. Coming together with our partners, coming together with our men and women in labor, coming together with our elected officials. So I just want to pause for a moment so I could have a complete speech because this guy has a sign he wants to protest something. So why don’t you do your protest and get out of the way so I can… Okay, he’s with us. Okay. (Laughter.)
Yeah, I just want to flow, governor, seamlessly. So I like to get the protests out of the way, but good, solidarity. I like that solidarity, you know, you brought your team with you. I want them to be at Yankee Stadium so that we can get the Yankees to win. So I want to thank everyone, the city and state, CUNY and our other partners for this very clear vision. This new science park and research campus. SPARC, as the governor alluded to in Kips Bay, is more than just a hub for life sciences. It really will become the feeding ground for ideas, for employment, for attracting people to this city. The magnetic and gravitational pull of this hub is going to bring businesses here all over the country, if not the globe. It’s a bridge to the future. And that would take students of today directly into the economy of tomorrow.
Over and over we’re seeing that when it comes to economic growth companies look for the talent. As you stated, governor, we hear it all the time. Every new business that opens, they want to know what talent we have and that talent lies in our young people. So we’re building out a system that would ensure New York City not only finds, attracts, but produces the talent right here in our city. We’re going to make sure New York City leads the globe. Life sciences and public health careers are the demand that we needed during COVID. The shortage of nurses, finding new inventions, finding vaccines. We’re now going to have that right here in our city, here at this campus that we are building. Now this project will anchor a district with a core vision. Life science is one of the biggest industries on the globe and expanding every day.
And the new markets are bringing so many businesses outside to the periphery of the actual campus that will also grow in a process. If we want to be a leader in life science fields, we need to be the leader in training talent for their jobs. So we want to make sure we bundle all that opportunity in a centralized way, in one location, in one place. This is real workforce development, something that we are keenly focused on and will continue to look towards developing. It would take our kids from high school to college to graduate school, to training, to full employment, all in New York City. You don’t have to go anywhere.
And this site was planned to be a sanitation location. We took trash and turned it into treasure. And that is the focus we are looking towards. This is why city and state partnerships are so important. I would be in a foxhole any day with you, governor, as we deal with all these crises we are facing. Your ability to bring together the team and lead this state is indicated right here today. How you turned this around with the partnership and the leadership of your great team, Karen, and the entire team making this happen. You really got stuff done — governor that got stuff done. We really appreciate that.
For years governors and mayors have tried this for years — Lorraine, you know how long they’ve tried. For years they’ve tried this and we were able to put personalities aside and put people on our side to make sure that this project happened. This is a place where education and workforce development come together seamlessly. And that’s what SPARC Kips Bay is all about. The project will transform an entire block into a 1.5 million square foot state-of-the-art destination for the life sciences industry. And as well as truly modernizing educational facilities for our young people at the DOE and aspiring scientists at CUNY. Chancellor, you have been a real partner in this and I want to thank you, Councilman Powers, for what you have done in this endeavor as well. Bringing CUNY, DOE, businesses, city health workforce, all of us coming together to solve a real problem that we are facing in our city and country.
We’re going to have everything from labs, office spaces, classrooms, business incubators, all the pieces we need as well as open space for public ground, improvements for the neighborhood and community. This is going to revitalize this entire area. Each SPARC will offer higher education opportunities through our academic partners at CUNY. Internships in every level, including entry level jobs from our industry stakeholders. Advanced career opportunities and everything from research and development to production and innovation.
And these are real jobs for real people. And space for New Yorkers to start their own companies and promote overall economic development. And so we want to thank the partners that are here today, but we also want to focus on something that’s crucial. We want to focus on our young people, students like Davea Smith Hill, who’s here. Where are you Davea? I know you are in the room. American story solving American problems. Came here from Jamaica and decided to move through her life. She worked under the table of health aid jobs until she was finally able to get a green card and she went on to become a nursing student at BMCC CUNY, and now she’s here making sure we deal with our nurses shortage. Let me tell you, people often say immigrants need us. No, we need you. We need you to come here with your enthusiasm, your ability to help us get stuff done. We cannot thank you enough. Congratulations to you. Let’s make sure we continue to make this happen.
And Arjeta, are you here as well? She attended New York City School. New York City public school, graduated from Hunter College and leveraged an internship through the city’s life science, New York City program to launch a career in bioscience. I want to thank her for what she has done. The daughter of Albanian immigrants, city of immigrants, educating, having them be a part of our city. Let’s think about when the asylum seekers and migrant seekers are coming here to our city. This is what makes New York and America run. These young people are the future of our city. They’re the ones that would keep us healthy and keep our community growing. The investments we are making today will pave the way for even more New Yorkers to follow their dreams. This is how our city and our partners are working. And while we will continue to coordinate together, this is where we’ll invent new vaccines, cure chronic diseases, and unlock the knowledge that will help millions of people live longer, stronger, and healthier lives.
A place that will bring $25 billion in economic impact into the city over the next 30 years. $25 billion. And over a hundred thousand jobs, including 2000 permanent life sciences jobs. As well as creating opportunities for all our young people as we move forward. Young people are creating our future. New York is coming together. I’m very excited about this project and I cannot thank the teams that have come together to make you and I look good, governor. They bred at home, they got it done and we want to create a spark for this entire industry. Thank you so much. Thank you, governor. Job well done.
(City University of New York Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez and City Council Member Keith Powers speak.)
Question: (Inaudible) Just how much of that is coming from the city and how much is coming (inaudible) state and where is the funding (inaudible) for it?
Kimball: Yep. So the CUNY elements of this project are being split 50/50. That’s in the $500 million range. And then there’s additional $700 million of city money going into those health related city agencies. On top of that, there’ll be close to another billion dollar private investment, in the private space, that will get built down the road, also on the site.
Question: I just wanted to ask why life sciences? Obviously it’s a very competitive industry. Other cities have almost cornered this market. Austin comes to mind. It has a huge life science industry. What is it about life sciences that gives you both confidence that this is the right industry to concentrate on here?
Governor Hochul: Well, we both have our perspectives, but we know that this is a strength of New York. And there’s no reason why that we cannot be known as the premier destination for healthcare researchers, innovation, incubating technologies that can be commercialized, creating spinoff industries. But the main thing we have? The talent. People are leaving other cities. We have data that shows that they want to be here. And that’s why we have pressure on housing, for example. That is something we’re going to be working on together in my next budget. But that’s a sign of confidence in New York— so people want to be here. So we get the talent. We get world class facilities. Investments that perhaps should have been made a decade ago are being made now. And so that’s why I believe that this is a place for this innovation because people want to be here in New York. And our residents deserve the best healthcare available — they’ll get that.
Mayor Adams: And I don’t think people realize the impact that New York State played on fighting COVID. Our labs were doing an amazing job, but at the same time we were also handcuffed by needing outside entities to come up with solutions for New York. Health, healthcare, new innovations, fighting diseases, this is something that’s going to be here with us. And we should be the center of that because of the combined diversity we have with students coming from all over the globe. This is the right thing. This is the industry that is only going to grow, and we need to be on the cutting edge of that growth.
Question: Governor, that data you referenced, that people are coming here, where is that data coming from?
Governor Hochul: We’ll have it by the end of the year. We’re compiling it right now. But I speak to a lot of business associations, leaders of the major tech companies, and they’re showing me that they’re having incredible opportunities to recruit people that are wanting to come here. But it’s also seen in the pressure on our housing market. If we did not have people wanting to be here, we’d have plentiful apartments to rent. And the data verifies that there is high demand for people to live in this city. And I think that, by itself, stands by on its own.
Question: Just regarding the state’s (inaudible), governor, is this going to be an appropriation of line items preceding from a legislator in the upcoming budget? Or is (inaudible) previously through capital?
Governor Hochul: It’s $479 million. James, the source is the capital.
James: Sure. The state will make provision for the project in its support of CUNY through the state’s capital budget. That will include some existing appropriations and likely some future appropriations. And we can connect you to the division of the budget for the particulars.
Question: Mr. Mayor, the Council speaker said yesterday, that she received no advance notice about your plans to turn the Row Hotel into an intake center. Is that true? And if so, why isn’t there better communication with the Council’s office? 
Mayor Adams: I’m sorry, advanced notice on?
Question: On your plans to turn the Row hotel into an intake center.
Mayor Adams: The communication is excellent. I think that Tiffany Raspberry, who’s in charge of our external affairs, she’s doing briefings with Council personnel all the time. They could be an internal communication within her office, but we told her office what we were doing. But I think it was last week that they said, use hotels. Am I missing it?
And so when they put out their 10 hotels, they put it online. They didn’t give it to us. They put it online. So we communicate directly, and we want to encourage greater communication. We enjoy communicating. We update all of our lawmakers. We have a large number of them on the Zooms that we do to keep them updated. So if there’s a lack of communication, it’s definitely not on our part. We believe in proper communication, but this stuff is moving. It’s fluid. And so sometimes we have the luxury of giving a seven day notice. Sometimes we have the luxury of only doing a 48 hour notice, but we give the notice. And anyone that knows me, I’ll give you the text at 2 a.m. in the morning if need be. So we did a good job of communicating.
Question: Yeah. Mr. Mayor, the other day, you said that since the emergency declaration, when you asked for more state funding, there was nothing specific you could point to in terms of more support from the state. But you said you and the governor were communicating. Do you think you’re getting enough support from the state? What does that communication look like? And then, also for both of you, I was curious if you guys have any thoughts on Senator Gillibrand’s suggestion, moving some of the migrants upstate.
Mayor Adams: First of all, to answer your question about is the support there? Heck, yes. You know, heck, yes. Listen, I have not had a better partner than this governor, from COVID, to Monkeypox, to crime, to transit safety, to education. I know there’s a lot of mayors throughout this entire state, but there’s no way you are going to tell me I’m not her favorite mayor. It’s just not possible. And so giving us the National Guard, we needed that to help us manage this, to assist us in navigating the challenges we were having at the Port Authority, stepping in and making sure that we can have this seamless transition. Karen, her staffers, all of her knowledge and skill in navigating has been just unbelievable with our chief of staff and their coordination. And so we have a real W in how the governor has been just an unbelievable ally in this pursuit. And there’s several other things that we’re going to need to state locations, navigating those locations. She has been there, and I cannot thank you enough, governor, for just being there.
Question: Locations for what?
Mayor Adams: Where we’re going to house people. We’re going to look at different location plans. As we look at the decompression strategy that the president is putting in place. That announcement we called for last Friday, now we want to make sure that we continue to find locations that we can utilize to house those who need housing.
Question: Mr. Mayor, along with what you were just saying, one of the locations that was questioned, like why weren’t we using it, is the Jacob Javits Convention Center. Its proximity to the Port Authority. Its amount of space and versatility of being used in different emergencies. Was the Jacob Javits Convention Center considered or is it not being considered for some reason?
Mayor Adams: We looked, and we are looking at every place. But at the same time as we house, we cannot harm our economics. The Jacob Javits Center is being filled with conventions. So we do not want to harm the economy as we house people. That’s the balance that we are correctly doing. We’re in conversations with the governor’s team and say, “Okay, how does this solve our housing issue without harming our economic issue?” And that, so we need to be clear, this governor and I are looking at the entire field. Sometimes people point out different places on the field. No, we have to look at the entire field. We’ve got an economy that must recover. We’re looking at a potential $10 billion budget deficit, so if we siphon off things that are helping our economy, that would be irresponsible.
Governor Hochul: I will just answer because you did have a two part question and you did say the governor at the end. So we’ll just make this. Just a couple of hours ago I got off the phone with Secretary Mayorkas and we, the mayor and I, have been joined at the hip from the beginning in our belief that this is a situation that calls for strong federal engagement, making sure that there is a different strategy at the borders. And now the path that they announced as a result of countless conversations that we have had jointly and individually with the White House chief of staff, secretary, that we now have a path. We’re going to start seeing the flow of individuals stemmed. I mean, they’re going to be stopping at the border. Also, people in their home country, Venezuela, will understand that there’s a path that can be legal, but you have to take steps in your own country, have a sponsor.
So there’s a whole program that I believe is going to change the dynamic very quickly. But I said, in the meantime, we have a situation where there’s thousands of individuals, the exact number, maybe 17,000. “They’re here now, Mr. Secretary,” I said, “They’re here right now. And we need federal air cover to assist with this.” So they’ll be looking at this in their next budget. We have a commitment. We have continued to provide Port Authority space, legal services, transportation with the MTA buses, as well as making sure that they have the support they need staffing wise with our National Guard. And we’re going to talk about reimbursements with the federal government. So that is where we are now.
There’s going to be a change in this situation. We’re going to deal with the situation at hand in cooperation, but also making sure that the tide of individuals coming here is stemmed. And I believe that they have a thoughtful response to that. With respect to upstate, I think the question is, how many more times do these people have to be shuffled around? These are human beings. This is a humanitarian crisis. When there becomes a legal path, and work papers, and a different dynamic, certainly there’ll be a lot of places that’ll want to embrace this community. But in the meantime, they are not political pawns. We need to take care of those who are here right now. So thank you everybody.
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