We need to bring more good jobs to the Hudson Valley. Our downtown areas need rejuvenation.
While the unemployment rate in Westchester is lower than in the rest of the State, it's 100% for an unemployed worker unable to find a job.
I recognize that we need some help from the state. My approach is based on three principles:
Capitalize on Our Strengths
Our community has a significant concentration of biotech companies -- perhaps the greatest concentration in the state (Regeneron, Progenics, etc) with their highly educated and highly-paid workforce.
Our community also hosts several top-notch medical facilities (such as Westchester Medical Center, Phelps Memorial Hospital, Dobbs Ferry Hospital, St. John's Riverside) and numerous medical offices that not only meet the medical needs of Westchester County residents but provide employment at all skill and pay levels, from the very top on down.
Finally, we have many fine public and private educational institutions at the elementary, secondary, college and professional school levels that not only meet the educational needs of Westchester County residents but provide ample employment opportunities.
As Assemblyman, I will build on the relationships that I already have with the leadership of these businesses and institutions to focus the state on growing these areas as economic engines for our community.
Focus on Emerging Technology
The concentration of strong bio-tech, healthcare and educational entities, positions us, with a little imagination, to seize the new opportunities for economic progress offered by emerging technology in the information, health, environment, and energy fields.
For instance, with the current concentration on environmental preservation and energy conservation, we should lead on "green" jobs. We need home inspectors certified to assess homes or businesses for their level of eco-friendliness and educated/trained to recommend low-cost, high efficiency building improvements. Likewise, we need researchers to devise and manufacturers to create the new technologies to meet these demands. Implementing more energy-conserving technology creates jobs for electricians and plumbers to install the energy saving devices.
As County Legislator, I passed a sales tax credit for the installation of a renewable energy source -- solar panels. As an Assemblyman, I will focus the state on incentivizing green technologies and encouraging community colleges and vocational schools to develop curricula to train people in those specific industries -- as Westchester Community College has already started to do.
Reinvest in Infrastructure
Westchester has an aging publicly and privately owned infrastructure -- buildings, bridges, roads, playgrounds, etc.
Reinvesting in infrastructure preserves the investments that we have already made and produces new local jobs. Capital projects tend to have a good multiplier effect, producing secondary and tertiary jobs beyond the construction managers and workers -- helping suppliers, manufacturers, transporters and even local delis, restaurants, supermarkets and other local shops.