New York City Mayor Eric Adams recently announced the appointment of Alphapointe Director of Public Policy Scott Thornhill to the Industrial Working Group, a collection of leaders from across the city’s industrial and manufacturing sectors tasked with redefining needs and opportunities as the city recovers from the pandemic.
The group was convened by Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development Maria Torres-Springer, the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation (BNYDC)\ and the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) with co-chairs Limor Fried (founder and CEO of Adafruit Industries) and Eric Ottaway (CEO of Brooklyn Brewery).
“It is an honor and a privilege to join this group of professionals in working to address the industrial and manufacturing needs and opportunities in New York City,” said Thornhill. “Given that Alphapointe is the largest employer of people with vision loss in the city and manufactures millions of essential products every year, we very much look forward to sharing our unique perspective on how New York City can grow and amplify its manufacturing efforts.”
The launch of the working group delivers on a key commitment from Mayor Adams’ “Blueprint for New York City’s Economic Recovery,” released earlier this year. In close collaboration with the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and New York City Department of City Planning (DCP), along with other city agencies, the group will be active through November and deliver recommendations to the city at the conclusion of its work.
“From the factory floor to the boardroom, the industrial sector was essential to our city’s survival during the pandemic, and it is essential to our recovery as well,” said Mayor Adams. “This group of experts will ensure that the economic opportunities and critical products that this sector long has offered New Yorkers will continue to uplift and support New Yorkers. I look forward to reviewing the recommendations and taking action to continue rebuilding, renewing, and reinventing our economy and our city.”
The Industrial Working Group includes representatives of businesses across the manufacturing, transportation, and infrastructure services industries, business support organizations and organized labor in the industrial sector. The group will also consult leading experts in the environmental justice, community development, and academic communities.
The group will seek to assess the challenges and opportunities facing the city’s industrial sector to shore up long-term growth and ensure that businesses continue to thrive. They will identify challenges and propose opportunities in three strategic investment areas: infrastructure, business growth, and talent. By reviewing city-owned and -leased real estate, infrastructure, and strategic industrial neighborhoods — particularly Industrial Business Zones — the group will help identify opportunities to invest wisely and efficiently. They will also assess opportunities to both support legacy industrial companies in adapting to a post-pandemic economy and support the growth of businesses in emerging sectors like materials science development or biotechnology.
The industrial sector, which includes manufacturers, transportation and distribution companies, and construction and infrastructure services firms, employs nearly half a million New Yorkers. In addition to generating significant economic activity for the region, the diverse range of businesses based across the five boroughs stepped up at the height of the pandemic and demonstrated the importance of local manufacturing. From emergency manufacturing to alleviating shortages brought on by supply chain issues, the New York industrial sector plays a vital role in supporting the city’s economy and workforce.