Connecting job seekers to the booming manufacturing and tech sectors in Brooklyn is the goal of a new workforce and training center opening in Industry City. NY1's Jeanine Ramirez filed the following report.
Sconces will be mounted in rooms at the Brooklyn Marriott hotel. They're made by Juniper Design in Sunset Park.
The company moved into the tech and manufacturing hub two years ago to grow its business. Now it hopes to be a source of jobs for a new jobs and training center opening in the same complex known as Industry City.
"If the training is there and we can play our part in getting them to really understand what we do with our product, then that would be a perfect way to staff for the long-term," said Shant Madjaran, president of Juniper Design Group.
The center is located on the second floor of a building on 35th Street. It's called the Innovation Lab and features 7,500 square feet of space, with two computer classrooms, conference and office space.
"We're hoping that this really serves as a kind of gateway for community residents to come down and not only learn what's happening, but also engage with us and partner with us as we continue to really think about the future of workforce on the waterfront and what manufacturing looks like today," said Cristal Rivera, director of community engagement with Industry City.
CUNY City Tech will run one computer lab. Nonprofit groups including Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow will teach courses in the other.
"They are going to be receiving a certification in Adobe Photoshop, along with learning some of the coding languages, maybe creating apps," said Miguel PAcheco, manager of technology instruction with Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow.
More than a dozen recent high school graduates have already signed up.
"I see coding as a great way to transfer my creative skills into a growing career field," said trainee Dave Barthly.
"I figure while I save for college, I can get a head start on everyone," said trainee Brian McSween.
"I want to gain some knowledge and all those certifications as well and use them to get a career," said trainee Farah Javed.
Industry City officials say employment in the 16-building complex has more than doubled since 2013. They've been renovating the buildings to attract more businesses and spent $500,000 rehabbing the space housing Innovation Lab. The goal is to create a kind of workforce pipeline.
The Innovation Lab opens to the public on Monday.