The city’s mayoral candidates are talking about job creation and rethinking workforce development programs, as well they should. The Stack, a new apartment building on Broadway and 204th Street in Manhattan, was largely pre-fabricated — meaning that it was built in a factory. That is a promising in a city where on-site construction in tight spaces, often under difficult weather conditions, is expensive and has adverse effects on surrounding blocks. After reading about The Stack last month on the NY1 website I queried the broadcaster about where the factory was located. An executive was kind enough to reply that the factory was in Pennsylvania, but said via e-mail that he did not see why that mattered. Here’s why the location matters: We need jobs in New York!
Learning that the building wasn’t made in China or Canada but in the U.S.A. was a relief, but here’s the point: if this is the future of construction, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the city’s next mayor and its construction trades and unions need to be planning pre-fab construction in New York State and in the city — how about the Brooklyn Navy Yards and/or manufacturing areas that Bloomberg is turning residential? How about upstate? Here is a potential source of real jobs, hopefully ones that can support families and offer health care and advancement. Politicians we elect should not allow our jobs to be sent out of the city, much less out of the state and New Yorkers need to find ways to make sure that they don’t.