(Supervisor Laura Gillen flanked by Long Island Federation of Labor President John Durso and Nassau Suffolk Building Trades Council President Matthew Aracich- Courtesy of Hempstead Town)
(Hempstead, NY)January 7, 2019 - Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen, along with Long Island Federation of Labor President John Durso and Nassau Suffolk Building Trades Council President Matthew Aracich, called on developers of the planned $1 billion New York Islanders hockey arena and Belmont redevelopment to provide job opportunities for local residents living throughout Long Island and the Town of Hempstead.
Officials called for the signing of a Project Labor Agreement (PLA), as well as local job training and recruitment programs for residents that will be affected by the development.
The future 19,000 - seat arena complex, which will include a 250 room hotel and 435,000 square feet of the commercial retail, is anticipated to generate over 12,000 construction jobs and over 3,000 permanent jobs in the Town of Hempstead.
“Our goal in the Town of Hempstead is to ensure that as many of these jobs as possible are kept right here on Long Island and the communities that will eventually live with the redevelopment,” said Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen. “We want to make sure Long Islanders and people who know our community best, and who take pride in our community, are doing the work because we believe they are the most committed and most qualified to seeing that the best product is built.”
John R. Durso, President of the 250,000 member Long Island Federation of Labor said, “The Belmont Park Redevelopment Project has been touted as a game changer for Long Island, and the Town of Hempstead. The development brings with it our coveted NY Islanders, which means a potential boon to the local economy. We are here today to thank Supervisor Laura Gillen for her support for an agreement between the Building and Construction Trades of Nassau and Suffolk Counties and Sterling Development, which will help realize that potential.”
Durso continued, “As a labor movement we are committed to building community wealth, and creating career opportunities for members of the community. An agreement of this kind will ensure that local work will be done by skilled local people through the use of union labor.”
The Building Trades Council has also agreed to focus recruitment and apprenticeship efforts through regular jobs fairs in areas of the Town such as the Uniondale, Hempstead and the Elmont School Districts in order to provide greater opportunities for young people that want to remain on Long Island and contribute to their communities by working here.
“These programs entail a combination of on-the-job training and related instruction in which workers learn the practical and technical aspects of skilled occupations and have shown tremendous results in opening the door for younger people to access vocational training,” said Matthew Aracich, President of the Nassau Suffolk Buildings Trade Council.
Last year developers of the Nassau Hub, also situated in the Town of Hempstead, agreed to a project labor agreement for the $1.5 billion commercial and residential development.
“These projects can be a win-win for Long Island and for the Town of Hempstead,” said Gillen. “When we empower the people who live here to directly shape their future, while putting more money into the communities that will host this project, we create stronger families and brighter futures for our taxpayers. When our hardworking men and women in labor lead the way, everyone wins.”