Andrew Cuomo, NYS Governor; Howard Zemsky, President, CEO and Commissioner of Empire State Development; Mario Cilento, President, NYS AFL-CIO and Gregory Floyd, President, Teamsters Local 237.
March 1, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo officiated at a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the beginning of construction that will dramatically expand and improve the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. The project will expand the Javits Center by 1.2 million square feet, resulting in a fivefold increase in meeting and ballroom space, including the largest ballroom in the Northeast. A four-level, 480,000 square foot truck marshaling facility capable of housing hundreds of tractor-trailers at one time will also be constructed to improve pedestrian safety and local traffic flow. The project’s total projected cost is approximately $1 billion, paid for by the Javits Center within existing resources. 4,000 full-time jobs, 2,000 part-time jobs and 3,100 construction jobs will be created. The Javits Center is the busiest convention center in the United States. In 2014, the facility hosted 177 events and more than 2 million visitors – ultimately supporting 17,500 jobs locally and generating an estimated 478,000 nightly hotel room reservations. In total, the Javits Center had an economic impact of $1.8 billion last year.
Gregory Floyd congratulates the Governor for helping to make the expansion proposal into a construction reality.
The expansion project is designed to build on this success – increasing the Convention Center’s size by more than 50 percent, from 2.1 million square feet to 3.3 million square feet, and adding new features to help the facility remain competitive both nationally and internationally. Attending the groundbreaking ceremony, Gregory Floyd, President, Teamsters Local 237, noted: “Last year at this time, the Governor told us about his vision to expand this facility. It’s great to see his plan become a reality. While this project will result in many benefits to the State, the City and the surrounding community, for me, the best part is that it means more jobs for our members. For that, I say, Thank you Governor Cuomo.
Hercules Cornish went to work for the Housing Authority as a caretaker J in 1952 and retired 24 years later as a stores worker. He died the year following this interview, which was conducted in June 1999.
Originally I was from Harlem, but when I came out of the service in 1945 my wife had moved to the Bronx, so I moved there, too. I went to work for the New York City Housing Authority in 1952.