Press Release Article

PORT AUTHORITY AWARDS $500,000 FOR NEW QUEENS CENTER FOR AVIATION EDUCATION AND TRAINING -- Far Rockaway Facility Will Help Train Local Residents for Aviation Jobs

Date: Aug 13, 2001
Press Release Number: 109-2001

At the request of Governor George E. Pataki, the Port Authority has worked with Assemblywoman Pauline Rhodd-Cummings and approved a $500,000 contribution that will help create an aviation job-training center in Far Rockaway, Queens, Executive Director Neil D. Levin announced today. Mr. Levin said that the center will be used to train residents for aviation jobs at John F. Kennedy International and LaGuardia airports.
The contribution to the Rockaway Development and Revitalization Corporation will help offset the cost of renovating a 27,000-square-foot building on Beach Channel Drive between Beach 62nd and Beach 63rd streets in Far Rockaway. The building will house a job-training center, expected to open in 2003, that will prepare students for jobs such as mechanics, ticket agents, air-traffic controllers and ground-crew workers.

New York Governor George E. Pataki said, “Aviation is one of the biggest employers in Queens. JFK and LaGuardia support more than 167,000 jobs and new opportunities are being created every day. This training center will help young people prepare for jobs in this exciting, fast-growing field.”

New York Congressman Gregory Meeks said, “I want to thank the Port Authority’s leaders for their commitment to the Queens community, and their understanding that the future lies in education and training. Their contribution to the Far Rockaway training and education center is an important new step in their continuing initiatives to train and prepare our youth for the 21st Century.”

Port Authority Executive Director Neil D. Levin said, “One of the best ways the Port Authority can help the Queens community is by training today’s young people for jobs that pay well and offer an exciting future. Graduates of this program will have an opportunity to learn the latest aviation technology, and prepare themselves to join a dynamic industry. The Port Authority’s airports generate $18 billion in economic activity throughout the region.”

Queens Borough President Claire Shulman, who noted that the new resource center also will house a health clinic, said, “The rehabilitation of 62-00 Beach Channel Drive into a center for health and education is of vital importance to Rockaway. By providing training and health care, we will enhance the quality of life of the entire Rockaway Peninsula, and I commend the Port Authority for supporting this project. This is an excellent example of public agencies and non-profits working in cooperation to improve the lives of thousands of people.”

Assemblywoman Pauline Rhodd-Cummings, who worked closely with Port Authority staff to secure the contribution, said, “I’m very pleased that the Port Authority is making this contribution to this training and education center in Far Rockaway. This contribution is a win-win for the Port Authority, York College and the College of Aeronautics. The entire Rockaway Peninsula will benefit from the contribution.”

When complete, the new educational, technical and health care center will house branches of York College, the College of Aeronautics and the Joseph B. Addabbo Health Center. The College of Aeronautics plans to use 7,000 square feet of space in the building for primary education programs that will prepare potential students for more rigorous training at its LaGuardia Airport facility.

The new training center building formerly housed a residential school for special needs children and recently was used as a facility for the New York City Department of Social Services.

In addition to Port Authority funds, the City of New York will donate the property and contributions will be made by other public and private sources.

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