Tech:NYC has pitched training programs as a way to help resolve tensions between business interests and residents that have flared up around expansion plans in Industry City, as well as at Amazon’s collapsed deal for a headquarters in Long Island City.
“It’s clear that the technology industry can and should do more to help New York’s recovery and ensure New Yorkers have access to jobs,” said Julie Samuels, the group’s executive director. “But the answer shouldn’t be ‘No, tech companies shouldn’t grow here.’ Instead, they should be working with city and state governments to ensure they are integrating into the fabric of New York.”
About half of the survey’s respondents said they think learning technology skills is expensive, intimidating and centered around Manhattan.
Tech:NYC released a list of recommendations this year that included expanded K–12 funding for computing skills and free adult training programs for technology jobs.
The city facilitates apprenticeships for engineer positions at companies including Foursquare, LinkedIn and Spotify through the Tech Talent Pipeline program. Schools including Per Scholas, a nonprofit, offer free tech-skills training and connect students to apprenticeships at corporate partners. But a report from the Center for an Urban Future, a think tank, found last year that there were fewer than 15 active apprentice programs in the city. The center called for state and local officials to launch more programs.
Tech:NYC’s poll found New Yorkers are split on the value of technology companies overall. They were viewed very favorably by about 15% of those surveyed, somewhat favorably by 29% and somewhat or very unfavorably by 18%. The largest portion—35%—were neutral.
Change Research’s poll has a margin of error of 3%.