The Office of the Governor of the State of New York

04/26/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 04/26/2019 14:07

Recipients of LGA Redevelopment Opportunity Scholarship

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the six winners of four-year full-tuition scholarships to Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology in a ceremony held to coincide with the opening of the new Council for Airport Opportunity LaGuardia Career Center in Corona, Queens. The CAO's LGA Career Center is located in a building operated by Elmcor, a social service agency based in Corona. The new office was made possible by $1.3 million in funding from the Port Authority and an additional $200,000 contribution from CAO. Neighborhood Housing Services of Queens is also a partner in the office.

'A critical part of delivering a new world class LaGuardia Airport is ensuring the local community is included every step of the way,' Governor Cuomo said. 'I want to congratulate the winners of the LaGuardia opportunity scholarships and look forward to these future leaders helping build a modern, state-of-the-art LaGuardia that will fundamentally transform New York for generations to come.'

'We want to make sure that all New Yorkers have the resources they need to get an affordable, quality education,' said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. 'These scholarships are providing freshman students with the opportunity to go to school tuition-free in partnership with Vaughn College. The scholarship program and the new Council for Airport Opportunity Office are part of our ongoing efforts to ensure local businesses and residents take advantage of new opportunities as part of LaGuardia Airport's redevelopment and economic growth.'

CAO is a nonprofit organization that provides airport-related recruitment and job placement services to minority and disadvantaged residents in Queens and Newark, New Jersey. The CAO's LGA Career Center is located at 107-20 Northern Boulevard in Corona.

The partnership with Vaughn College, located just a stone's throw from LaGuardia Airport, provides six incoming freshmen full four-year scholarships starting with the 2019-2020 academic year. The scholarship program is part of the Governor's continuing effort to provide opportunities for local communities to share in the economic benefits of LaGuardia Airport's ongoing redevelopment program.

This unique initiative provides local students an education in the aviation field, with the promise of a full-time position in Aviation at the Port Authority airports upon graduation. Recipients will also be offered paid internships at the Port Authority airports during the summers of their enrollment at Vaughn.

Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton said, 'The Port Authority's partnership with the CAO provides residents with job-readiness counseling, career orientation and instruction in interviewing and job search techniques. Presenting our Vaughn Scholarship recipients at the new office today is fitting as the Port Authority develops education and future employment opportunities to these local students. These are significant initiatives demonstrating the Port Authority's commitment to the public through partnerships with the private sector.'

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz said, 'For the $8 billion overhaul of LaGuardia Airport to truly be successful, we must dedicate ourselves to ensuring that new employment and contract opportunities are filled by Queens residents - boosting both the efficiency of the airport and the economy of the surrounding neighborhood. Today's opening of the Council for Airport Opportunity LaGuardia Career Center at Elmcor helps advance that incredibly vital mission. Fostering the development of our borough's future leaders in aviation is also a crucial step toward operating state-of-the-art facilities like the new LaGuardia Airport, and we congratulate the six dedicated Queens student scholarship winners who will no doubt flourish at Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology.'

Senator Jessica Ramos said, 'I congratulate the Port Authority, Vaughn College, the Council for Airport Opportunity, and the Governor. Local hiring, scholarships for students, career development and Minority- and Women-Owned Businesses certification are all important steps in giving our neighbors the tools to drive economic development in Queens.'

Assemblymember Jeffrion Aubry said, 'As an elected official, my number one priority is ensuring the success and growth of my constituents. These scholarships will do wonders for Queens residents while enabling them to contribute to the new world class LaGuardia Airport. I congratulate the winners of these scholarships and thank Governor Cuomo and Port Authority for their continued dedication to the Queens community.'

Council Member Francisco Moya said, 'I am so proud of these six remarkable Corona and East Elmhurst students who earned the Port Authority/Vaughn College Scholarship. With these scholarships and the promise of job placement at Port Authority upon graduation, I have no doubt the future of this agency is in capable hands. I also want to congratulate the Council for Airport Opportunities on opening its new Queens office. Its commitment to local hiring and partnership with our community, especially with Elmcor, has been nothing short of commendable. These efforts ensure that as LaGuardia undergoes significant improvements, the lives of community members most directly affected by these changes improve alongside it.'

Dr. Sharon DeVivo, President of Vaughn College, said, 'Vaughn College is proud to partner with The Port Authority to offer the students of Queens an incredible opportunity to join this in-demand industry. Graduates of our institution have the greatest likelihood of moving to the top in income out of every other college in the country, and coupled with a debt-free education and employment possibilities in Queens, these students have an almost guaranteed successful future ahead of them.'

Executive Director of the Council for Airport Opportunity Andrew Campbell said, 'CAO's new LaGuardia Career Center will generate greater and easier access to airport careers for local residents. I commend the Port Authority and local elected officials for their foresight in recognizing community needs. Supporting the new LaGuardia Career Center will help to ensure that there is opportunity for residents to secure jobs and share in the region's economic growth.'

The future permanent LaGuardia redevelopment community office in East Elmhurst will look to build on initiatives that, to date, have resulted in the issuance of nearly 900 contracts as part of the redevelopment valued at more than $1.23 billion to certified minority-and women-owned businesses. It also will build on the nearly 400 new hires for jobs at the airport's new Terminal B concourse, which opened in December 2018, with 55 percent of those hires being Queens residents. This new community office will be in addition to a new CAO office at Elmcor.

Hiring local residents is just one component of the overall effort by the Governor, Port Authority and airport partners to increase wages and opportunities for those already working at the airports or seeking potential employment there. In September 2018, the Port Authority adopted the highest minimum wage target set by any public agency in the country, providing as many as 40,000 airport workers a path to earning at least $19 an hour, to be phased in by 2023.

The new policy will benefit the traveling public by reducing staff turnover and providing an experienced, well-trained and motivated workforce that can better assist in responding to an emergency, identifying security issues, operating equipment safely and providing experienced customer service.

These improvements come as the region's airports continue to handle record passenger volumes. At LaGuardia, which has remained fully operational while the entire airport is being rebuilt, annual passenger volume grew in 2018 by 2.3 percent to 31.1 million, the most in its history. The airport experienced its single-day record for passenger volume on Thursday, April18, as 59,698 travelers passed through checkpoints.

Governor Cuomo first unveiled the vision for a comprehensive redevelopment of LaGuardia Airport in 2015, with the project breaking ground in 2016. Upon completion, the new 2.7-million-square-foot airport will be the first new airport built in the U.S. in more than 25 years. Overall, LaGuardia redevelopment is expected to create a combined $10 billion in direct economic activity and $2.5 billion in wages over the life of the project.

The new airport will comprise $8 billion in new facilities. On the western side of the airport, the new $4 billion Terminal B is replacing the obsolete terminal that opened more than 50 years ago. The terminal will have a total of 35 gates, including 11 that already opened in December 2018 and seven more coming into service in early 2020. Dual pedestrian bridges will rise over active plane taxi lanes, connecting the main departures and arrivals hall that will open in 2020 with the two island concourses, offering travelers views of the Manhattan skyline as they head to and from their gates.

On the eastern side of the airport, Delta Air Lines' new $4 billion Terminal C, which broke ground in August 2017, will ultimately comprise a total 37 gates. The new Terminal C will replace the existing Terminals C and D and is scheduled to open in 2021.

LGP and Delta are privately financing two-thirds of the redevelopment's costs, and the Port Authority has committed the remaining one-third - most of it for overhauling and simplifying the current labyrinth network of on-airport roadways.

The new arrivals and departure halls will be located closer to the Grand Central Parkway than the existing terminals, increasing the size of the airfield and allowing for dual taxiways to reduce gate congestion, while also enabling larger gate areas to more efficiently accommodate modern aircraft. State-of-the-art security technology will be integrated from curb to gate.