"I've been looking forward to this day for eight years," Atlantic Yards developer Bruce Ratner told a crowd of reporters today from inside the increasingly completed Barclays Center arena. In particular Ratner, flanked by Mayor Bloomberg and Brooklyn BP Marty Markowitz, claims to have been looking forward to announcing that the facility was finally going to start living up to its promises of jobs for Brooklyn since "jobs are what it is about." Yup, they really are going to try and hire local, everybody.
According to the bigwigs, the arena will have "priority hiring" for its approximately 2,000 jobs to "residents of Brooklyn Community Boards 2, 3, 6 and 8, graduates of Brooklyn United for Innovative Local Development’s training program, and New York City Housing Authority residents of Ingersoll, Whitman, Farragut, Atlantic Terminal, Wyckoff Gardens, Warren Street, Lafayette Gardens and Gowanus Houses." About 200 of those jobs will be full-time and the rest will be part-timers working up to 30 hours a week.
Notably, not all of the jobs being offered will be entry level. Mayor Bloomberg took pains to point out that openings will be available for jobs that include "sales reps and security guards and food sales associates and accountants, purchase managers and arena directors."
To fill those jobs, the arena will start meeting with Community Boards next week before kicking off a series of job fairs in the borough in June and July (Barclays Center is scheduled to open in September with a Jay-Z concert). Prior experience for many of the lower-level jobs isn't required, either, as the Disney Institute (yes, the Disney Institute!) will be training all the new hires.
And, interestingly, Ratner's latest promise doesn't end after the arena opens. Forest City Ratner is promising to "report quarterly on the number of employees and the neighborhoods that they are from." All the arena-haters noted that for future reference? Good.