Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Port Authority and Airport Developers are committed to local hiring as part of the ongoing $8 billion redevelopment of LaGuardia Airport. The project also issued nearly 850 contracts valued at more than $1.14 Billion to Certified Minority- and Women-Owned Businesses, advancing New York State’s nation leading utilization rate of MWBEs.
Gov. Cuomo announced that more than half of the nearly 400 new hires for jobs ranging from cashiers to managers at LaGuardia Airport’s new Terminal B Concourse are residents of Queens. Between August and the end of December, Terminal B’s concession partners hired 374 new employees for the new concourse, with 55% of those hires being residents of Queens.
The spacious new concourse, housing 18 gates and a wide array of world-class amenities, became the first part of the airport’s $8 billion redevelopment, two-thirds of which is privately financed, to open to passengers this past December. The rebuilding of LaGuardia Airport has also benefitted Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises, who have received a total of 849 contracts with a combined value of nearly $1.15 billion.
“The redevelopment at LaGuardia is transforming the airport into a modern, global gateway for New York, and is providing meaningful jobs to Queens residents at the world-class concessions servicing the new gates,” Governor Cuomo said. “The airport is a critical engine for New York’s economy, and is now translating into local economic opportunity as well.”
“The transformation of LaGuardia Airport is enhancing the overall travel experience and creating jobs for local residents,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “We’re committed to making sure that the redevelopment of the airport is providing new opportunities for New Yorkers, and continuing to grow the economy of the entire State of New York.”
The hiring campaign is the result of a dedicated outreach effort led by the Port Authority and the LaGuardia Redevelopment Community Outreach team, which has participated in more than 25 job fairs across Queens with multiple private sector and public sector partners, as part of the state’s commitment to local economic growth.
In July 2018, Governor Cuomo announced $1.4 million in new funding for the Council for Airport Opportunity (CAO) to build a new office in East Elmhurst/Corona near LaGuardia Airport, in collaboration with local community-based organizations, Elmcor and NHS of Queens, that focus on providing opportunities for local residents to benefit from the airport’s redevelopment. As a nonprofit organization, the CAO provides airport-related recruitment and job placement services to Queens residents, including those who are minority and disadvantaged.
The CAO, together with the LaGuardia Community Outreach team, partnered with LaGuardia Gateway Partners and concession operators HMSHost, SSP America, Hudson Group and the Marshall Retail Group to ensure Queens residents were given ample opportunity to join their workforces. Delta Air Lines, which is building a new Terminal C on the eastern side of the airport to replace the existing Terminals C & D, is also working with CAO and its concession operators to target local hires as new jobs become available.
Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton said, “The $8 billion development of a Whole New LGA presents Queens residents a wide variety of opportunities to advance their careers. Through job fairs and community outreach, Queens residents will get many more opportunities to begin or continue aviation careers at the new LaGuardia as the ongoing redevelopment continues to hit key milestones.”
CEO of LaGuardia Gateway Partners Stewart Steeves said, “LaGuardia Gateway Partners remains committed to not only building a state- of- the- art terminal, but also being a part of the Queens community for years to come. Providing job opportunities for local residents plays a crucial role in both offering an exceptional experience for our visitors and in generating economic development throughout Queens.”
The concerted effort to bring more Queens residents into the LGA workforce is most evident in the food and retail shops in Terminal B’s first new concourse, which is operated by LaGuardia Gateway Partners. The new hires are already at work in the new concourse as managers, supervisors, sales associates, cashiers, cooks and bartenders.
The local hiring initiative at LaGuardia 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 airport or seeking potential employment there. These enhancements come at a critical time as the region’s airports continue to handle a record volume of passengers. At LaGuardia, which has remained fully operational while the entire airport is being rebuilt, annual passenger volume grew in 2018 by 2.3% to 31.1 million, the most in its history.
Queens Borough President Melinda Katz said, “Queens is home to an abundance of hard working and talented people, which is reflected in the fact that more than half of the nearly 400 new hires at LaGuardia’s Terminal B are from our borough. Terminal B is going to be a first-class aviation hub thanks to the skill, dedication and commitment of these new hires.”