News & Politics

City Offers Laid-Off Finance Types Cheap Offices, Internships


The city is going to suffer greatly from the loss of financial services jobs, says the Mayor — not only do those jobs represent a third of our private sector payroll (!), they also reflect “a range of incomes.” (He explains: “More than half of the people working in the City’s financial services sector make less than $100,000 per year.” See, some of them are just like you and us, put together.)

So the city has devised a raft of initiatives to bring in new businesses and to help both biz-whiz newbies and laid-off brokers and bankers who have burned through their six-figure severances to get their white-collar act together. Most of the first part is simple enough, but the worker-oriented stuff is very creative.

There’ll be a business plan competition, with prizes for the winner and start-up support if they don’t just say thanks and take their business to Pittsburgh, and fully-equipped “incubator” offices leased by the city for as little as $200 per person per month. Two training opportunities caught our eye: there’s FastTrac, a program to help, among others, “those displaced from the financial services sector” start new businesses or assist at existing ones, and JumpStart NYC, a “free job training and placement pilot program designed for workers laid off from the financial services sector,” which includes a “boot camp, after which participants will be offered a 10-week unpaid internship with a start up company.”

Job placement services and internships — it’s like senior year all over again. But wouldn’t we do better to teach them carpentry, electrical engineering, and stonecutting? Those careers those quite pay what Wall Street does, but at least those “sectors” haven’t required bailouts and may just outlast high finance. In fact, let us know when they offer such a program.



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