De Blasio outlines tech-sector plans

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De Blasio. (Diana Robinson for the Office of Mayor Bill de Blasio)
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Seeking to expand jobs in the technology sector, the de Blasio administration will spend $10 million in private and public funds on job training.

It's called the "NYC Tech Talent Pipeline" and it will be run by the city over the next three years, with a combination of city, state, federal and private money, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced during a speech about the economic importance of the emerging tech industry in the city.

"We have a special obligation to create homegrown talent—to help New York City residents qualify to be a vibrant part of this industry," de Blasio said during the address Monday morning at "Internet Week New York."

JPMorgan Chase, the New York Community Trust and the New York City Workforce Funders group will contribute to the effort, the mayor announced.

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He also said that the city will announce the members of a task force focused on job training Tuesday.

De Blasio spoke of his goal of achieving "universal, affordable, high-speed internet access throughout this city," a mission being overseen by his top counsel, Maya Wiley.

Specifically, he promised more competition, a re-examination of the city's franchise agreements with Verizon FiOS and Time Warner Cable "to hold them accountable for providing the kind of service they're obligated to," and turning 10,000 pay phones into "internet hot spots" throughout the five boroughs.

An area of Harlem soon will be getting free wifi for 80,000 poeple, he added.

Other efforts to enhance the city's tech sector, which aspires to rival that of Silicon Valley, include mentorships and "immersive boot camp training" for high school students pursuing jobs in the industry, and a talent draft, whereby the city's Economic Development Corp. connects 4,500 students to more than 150 city tech companies, de Blasio added.

He acknowledged his predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, who oversaw an increase in tech jobs and city-based startups in the city during his 12-year tenure.

"The previous administration of Mayor Bloomberg did a fine job setting the table for the growth of this industry and we want to build upon that good foundation," de Blasio said.

The mayor also touted his plans for expanded pre-kindergarten expansion, more affordable housing and traffic safety during his speech.