Heard on the Street: investing in communities, a big year for an industrial campus, and more

Heard on the Street – here’s what we were reading last week:

2018 New York State of the State Address: Governor Cuomo shared his agenda for the Empire State. The address included the introduction or continuation of a number of interesting initiatives, including establishing a new Office of Workforce Development, expanding the New York Youth Works Program, launching round three of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, and expanding the MWBE Program to all State-funded contracts.

Who decides? Behind a New Fund to Amplify Community Power: The Amplify Fund, a new project out of the Neighborhood Funders Group, will work “to shift local power structures and put decisions about local development in the hands of residents.” The project will include partnership from the Surdna Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Open Society Foundation.

Big year for Brooklyn Navy Yard: 2017 was a busy year for rental activity at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The newly renovated Building 77 opened in November, which created an additional 1 million square feet of rentable space on the industrial campus.

Donald Trump’s jobs promise just about holding up but trouble may lie ahead: Some experts warn that underlying structural issues related to unemployment could cause problems if they are not addressed. Maurice Jones, CEO of LISC, explains that while a city’s unemployment rate may be low, it can be drastically higher in certain communities. “We need to disaggregate these numbers,” said Jones, who blames skill shortages for much of the disparity. “On any given day there are 10,000 unfilled vacancies in the Houston medical centers. But if you believe the unemployment numbers, there’s no problem with the jobs market at all.”