Monthly Archives: August 2009

Vision Plan for Sunset Park Waterfront Approved

On July 20, Mayor Mike Bloomberg announced a $270 million investment to revitalize the Sunset Park waterfront. The Sunset Park Waterfront Vision Plan (pdf) aims to create thousands of jobs by promoting industrial activity and to improve the quality of life for community residents.

198841829_590ce241bcThe  waterfront’s piers, terminals, and rail yards have been in disrepair for decades. Projects in the plan include modernizing the aging maritime and industrial infrastructure, re-activate vacant or underutilized space, attracting green and environmentally sustainable businesses and creating local, blue-collar job opportunities.

According to the Vision Plan, the projects will provide an enormous jolt to the neighborhood’s economy:

The short-term recommendations alone have the potential to create or induce 5,000 jobs in Sunset Park, and defer as many as 19,500 annual regional truck trips (53 trips/day) and 1,000 tons of CO2 emissions. Implementation of the full Vision Plan could result in the creation or inducement of approximately 11,000 jobs, the elimination of over 70,000 annual regional truck trips and 5,000 tons of CO2 emissions, as well as the activation of approximately 3.5 million square feet of industrial space for job-generating uses.

In addition to stimulating the economy, the plan will add a new 22-acre park at the Bush Terminal Piers, effectively doubling the amount of green space in Sunset Park.  The park will provide access to the waterfront for residents of a neighborhood that is currently cut off from the water by the Gowanus Expressway and commercial developments through new pedestrian walkways, as well as “key corridors” at 35th, 43rd, 51st and 58th streets. Rezoning the section to the east of the industrial area will help preserve and encourage the creation of affordable housing.

The Sunset Park-based Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation (SBIDC) and Community Board 7 played key roles in the development of the Vision Plan.

Read more about the planned projects at the PlanNYC web site and the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

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Filed under Community Collaborations, Community Development

Center Wins Family Strengthening Award

We are excited to announce that Center for Family Life has been selected to receive a 2009 Families Count: Family Strengthening Award for our innovative program strategies, particularly our Adult Employment Program. The awards are given annually by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the United Neighborhood Centers of America (UNCA) in recognition of exemplary programs that connect children and families to economic opportunities.

The Adult Employment Program provides a comprehensive range of employment services, including individualized employment counseling, job search assistance and workshops on a variety of career-related topics. Employment services are combined with social supports and strong community partnerships to help participants achieve and sustain economic security.

A component of the Adult Employment Program, the Center’s Entrepreneurship Project reflects our efforts to explore new strategies and adapt our services to the changing needs of Sunset Park residents.  Traditional employment supports do not benefit those who have trouble finding work due to their residency status – a category that includes a substantial portion of the Sunset Park community. Our engagement in the development of worker cooperatives and provision of entrepreneurial supports represent innovative mechanisms to help residents become successful business owners. Cooperatives create living wage jobs in safe environments, while providing social supports and educational opportunities to members.

We would like to thank those Sunset Park residents who came together to organize these cooperatives, which have already made a significant contribution to the economic development of our community, for their commitment and perseverance in the face of daunting challenges. We are also thankful to those organizations that provided funding for the Adult Employment Program, including the Robin Hood Foundation, New York Women’s Foundation, New York Foundation and the Liz Claiborne Foundation.

Read more about the services of the We Can Do It! Cooperative, the We Can Fix It! Cooperative and the BeyondCare Childcare Cooperative.

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Filed under Fair Work, Immigrants in NYC, Worker Cooperative Project