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Mayor De Blasio Touts City as Next Silicon Valley

By Trevor Kapp | June 15, 2017 5:02pm

CHELSEA — The city is embarking on a campaign that it says will spur 100,000 well-paying jobs — largely in the cybersecurity and tech industries — over the next decade in a bid to strengthen the middle class.

“New York Works” will aim to make the city the next cybersecurity mecca by pouring $30 million into training residents and developing labs — with the ultimate goal of getting more New Yorkers jobs that pay more than $50,000 a year.

“This is a field with tremendous growth potential,” Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Why shouldn’t it be us? Why shouldn’t we be the center of that industry?”

The initiative will also create 20,000 jobs in the industrial and manufacturing fields as well as 15,000 jobs in the life sciences and health care industries, the mayor said.

Among the quirky jobs the city will add is a nightlife ambassador — which he said cities like London have used successfully to reduce noise complaints.

“It’s someone who is a liaison to the nightlife community,” Media and Entertainment Commissioner Julie Menin said. “We want to have an office that is going to work with the various music venues, with the nightclubs, with bars and restaurants.”

The city is also planning to pour $5 million into a digital health lab, which will serve as a testing ground for health care companies hoping to bring their products into clinical settings.

“It is a plan to achieve a lot quickly,” de Blasio said. “Too often, we’ve heard about places like Silicon Valley or the Boston area.”

“We have the skilled workers,” he added. “We need to take full advantage of these possibilities.”

De Blasio announced the plan at SecurityScorecard, a computer security service company that had just two employees when it launched more than three years ago and now has 120.

He said companies like SecurityScorecard represent the future by providing a path to the middle class for people who may not have four-year college degrees.

“Those jobs are going to be developed somewhere,” de Blasio said. “If we act now, we believe they will be developed here.”