Jamaica Downtown Revitalization Initiative

August 2017 Newsletter: Invigorating Downtowns

This summer, we’re connecting urban development plans with local job creation strategies, and integrating stakeholder input as major investment unfolds. We’ve had the opportunity to support revitalization and master planning efforts over the past few months. Take a deeper look at these projects below.

We’ve been in Jamaica and Trenton helping identify innovative workforce training and partnership models to support local economic growth.

Governor Cuomo recently announced winning projects for Jamaica, Queens’ $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI). We’ve been supporting a team led by HR&A Advisors to help the Jamaica Local Planning Committee (LPC) identify and develop these projects, which will facilitate catalytic economic development and investment in vibrant downtown activity. We advised the LPC on workforce and business support opportunities to increase job growth and attract workers downtown, and focused most closely on one of the winning projects to expand the Prime Skills Entrepreneurship Fund. This training program, managed by the Queens Economic Development Corporation, helps low-income Jamaica residents gain skills and tools to launch their own businesses. The additional DRI funding will capitalize on existing program infrastructure and early successes to scale the model, building a class of businesses in Jamaica owned by residents and giving the local community a direct connection to the economic growth of the DRI. We played a similar workforce subject matter expert role working with Group Melvin Design on the Trenton250 Master Plan. We’re excited to join stakeholders in announcing the results of this effort – aimed at combining economic development, education, housing, land use, and transit policies to transform the city – in the near future.

We’ve also got a new Analyst on board. Say hello.

Please join us in welcoming Sam Facas to Public WorksPartners as our newest Analyst! Sam joins us from the NYC Department of City Planning, where he spent three years working on the coordination and development of neighborhood planning studies to expand affordable housing opportunities for New Yorkers. Combining his non-profit, government, and private sector experience, Sam will conduct policy research and program coordination to provide our clients with thoughtful, actionable solutions to multidimensional problems.

February 2017 Newsletter: What We’re Reading and What We’re Up To

What We’re Reading

Doneliza Joaquin

About a high-school program that intersects mathematics, data analysis, mapmaking, and understanding of the urban landscape currently on exhibit at Cooper Hewitt for its use of inclusive community design.



Julia Deutsch

The Furman Center’s straightforward economic analysis of the latest reform proposal for the 421-a Program, focusing on how new wage requirements could impact city tax payers and developers alike.



Moe Magali

The business case for companies to invest in re-skilling their workforce, with or without incentives from the public sector, and clearly communicating the purpose of new training to get the best results out of employees and for business interests.



Diana Petty

A match-making app that connects M/WBE businesses with City and State business opportunities.




What We’re Up To:

We love that our work takes us across all five boroughs. We travel from our Manhattan office to the Bronx to support Lincoln Center Education as they increase their programming in Community School District 7 and think about how to most effectively meet the needs of parents, teachers, and students. We’re also in Queens on a team led by HR&A working with the Queens Borough President’s Office and Queens Chamber of Commerce on the Jamaica Downtown Revitalization Initiative, helping the local planning committee identify workforce projects that will best fit future growth in the area. In Brooklyn, we’re in our third year providing technical assistance and performance management support for the Change Capital Fund grantees, including Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation, St. Nicks Alliance, Bronx-based New Settlement and Stronger Together, to track common outcomes and understand effective strategies for collectively combating povertyThen, we hop the ferry to get to the Staten Island Economic Development Corporation where we’re working to understand the needs of small industrial businesses and design a program model to connect local residents to training and job opportunities ahead. And, touching all boroughs plus other parts of New York and New Jersey, we’re supporting Goodwill to develop a strategic plan that will harness the organization’s strengths to focus on its core mission.

Next month, we hit the road to NYATEP’s Youth Academy. We’ll be facilitating a practice building workshop on how to use design thinking to address youth workforce challenges. We’ll ground participants in how to integrate design thinking principles into program development, and provide hands-on opportunities to practice this for your work!

Contact Us

Mailing Address
99 Madison Avenue
Suite 403
New York, NY 10016
(347) 619-2892