Silicon Alley Could Revive NYC's Middle Class, Report Says

Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - 06:00 AM

New York's tech sector has made some entrepreneurs rich. A new study says it could also preserve and grow the city's middle class.

The potential boom in jobs hinges on city government's ability to set up future workers for success in software engineering and other fields that require 21st-century skills, according to a report released Tuesday by Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer's office.

"New York City is in the midst of an entrepreneurial revolution, but the benefits of this revolution are not being felt by all New Yorkers," Stringer said in a statement.

The report, "Start-up City," lays out 11 recommendations Stringer says will spur entrepreneurship, lead to "robust economic growth" for Silicon Alley and allow working-class New Yorkers to climb the socio-economic ladder.  

Education is at the heart of plan. The city should start a financial aid program for engineering students and CUNY should develop a dedicated STEM — or science, technology, engineering and math — program for high school students, the report says.

It also recommends the city DOE expand its computer science curricula at the K-12 level, as it did with the new Academy for Software Engineering near Union Square.

Transportation and infrastructure projects also feature prominently in "Start-up City," which is the first report Stringer has issued since he announced he's running for city comptroller — not mayor — in 2013. 

Stringer also identifies five challenges to New York creating "a pipeline of jobs for working families": bureaucratic roadblocks, spotty Internet access, an inferior transportation network, expensive housing and office space, and a shortage of talent.  

If the city succeeds in breeding and retaining that talent, many workers will benefit: Entry-level software coders at tech firms can earn as much as $65,000 a year, according to the report. Census data show the citywide median household income in New York City is just $50,285.


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Comments [3]

Mary Mills from Jersey City

Industry does not hire American workers to do these jobs because they can get H1 Visa people to do them, pay them sometimes as consultants and not provide the same raises, moving expenses and so forth. Americans with. DP degree dont want a terribly boring job coding for a low wage when they can learn something new or move on.

Jan. 14 2013 12:50 PM

So basically he's copying everything the current administration has started. That's smart... but it annoys me when they (ppl running for office) want to make it seem like they have some great new idea. It's just like with the great things going on at College of Nanoscale Science & Engineering up in Albany. That project got off the ground under Pataki (though the idea might have even preceded him)... but if you read the press releases - you'd think Andrew Cuomo was the "head cook and bottle washer" for the campus.

Dec. 11 2012 08:28 AM

$65000 was the starting salary for an entry level Java Software engineer in Silicon valley 15 years ago. We have come a long way baby

Dec. 11 2012 06:45 AM

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