Mayor Says Jobs Are City's No. 1 Priority

Jobs remain the city's No. 1 priority, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Tuesday as he announced the latest in a series of workforce training grants.

The mayor awarded a $180,000 grant to four small businesses, which themselves will contribute a total of $104,000 toward training employees.

The grants, awarded by the Department of Small Business Services, are designed to create jobs and help small businesses expand in the five boroughs.

So far in 2011, nearly $700,000 has been awarded to a total of 16 businesses, providing training for 300 New Yorkers and 45 new hires.

Speaking at a wholesale food manufacturing company that received grant money in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, Bloomberg outlined his commitment to small businesses โ€” describing them as "the heartbeat of the economy and the solution to our jobless problems in this country."

Bloomberg made the announcement just days after President Barack Obama unveiled his jobs plan.

"Since October of 09, the nation has gained back only one out of every four jobs that were lost during the national recession," he said. New York City has gained back all of the lost jobs and added even more.โ€