Archive for July, 2016

Projects to create Atlanta construction jobs

Saturday, July 30th, 2016

A new round of funding is going towards projects that will create Atlanta construction jobs.

Atlanta City Council has voted 13 to 1 to approve a measure to put a special local option sales tax (TSPLOST) referendum on the November ballot to fund transportation related infrastructure projects throughout the City of Atlanta. The ballot referendum will ask Atlanta voters to authorize a 0.4 percent sales tax increase for a five-year period. The TSPLOST is projected to generate approximately $260 million, which will be leveraged to generate additional matching funds.

The project list includes high priority projects from the Connect Atlanta plan and more than a dozen neighborhood and community plans that have been adopted in the last six years, and features projects in nearly all of the city’s commercial districts, including:

  • $66 million for the Atlanta BeltLine, which will allow the BeltLine to purchase all the remaining right of way to close the 22-mile loop;
  • $75 million for 15 complete streets projects;
  • $3 million for Phase 2 of the Atlanta Bike Share program;
  • $69 million for pedestrian improvements in sidewalks; and
  • $40 million for traffic signal optimization.

“Infrastructure investments are vital to Atlanta’s quality of life and continued economic competitiveness,” said Mayor Reed. “Between the $250 million being spent through the Renew Atlanta bond program and these TSPLOST funds, Atlanta will reap the benefits of more than a half billion dollars invested in new and improved roads, sidewalks, neighborhood greenways, parks and congestion reduction efforts. Combined with a $3 billion expansion of our public transit system through MARTA, Atlanta residents will see unprecedented new investments in strengthening our transportation networks.”

Senate Bill 369, which authorized the city’s TSPLOST and MARTA tax referenda, requires the City to forward its resolution to the Fulton County Board of Commissioners for final approval. Fulton County has called a special meeting on August 8 to consider the TSPLOST resolutions from Atlanta and other Fulton municipalities. The TSPLOST within the City of Atlanta will raise funds exclusively for projects within the city and is separate from SPLOST projects outside the City of Atlanta.


Atlanta insurance jobs expand

Saturday, July 30th, 2016

The opening of a new office is proof that Atlanta insurance jobs are expanding.

New York Life Insurance Company (New York Life) is the company’s fourth general office in Georgia, and the second in the metropolitan Atlanta area. Two hundred employees will work in the new office, located at 55 Ivan Allen, Jr. Boulevard NW in downtown Atlanta, near Centennial Olympic Park, the Center for Civil and Human Rights and just a few blocks from the Atlanta Streetcar.

“I am excited to welcome New York Life to its new offices in our vibrant and thriving downtown neighborhood,” said Mayor Reed. “My Administration has worked to make Atlanta a leading, attractive city for new business and corporate expansions. In the last two years, more than a dozen companies have chosen to relocate to Atlanta or open new offices here. Our educated and talented workforce and high quality of life are drawing entrepreneurs and companies from all over the world. I believe New York Life will find they are in good company.”

New York Life has a substantial presence in the metropolitan Atlanta area and in the state of Georgia. The company has operated in Georgia for 170 years. More than 258,000 Georgians hold a policy with the company, supported by 500 employees state-wide.

“New York Life takes great pride in growing our presence in the great City of Atlanta,” said Puneet Seth, Managing Partner of New York Life’s Greater Atlanta General Office. “We look forward to continuing to play a positive role in the communities we serve and further contributing to the city’s economic and civic vibrancy.”

Pay increase will affect Atlanta law enforcement jobs

Sunday, July 3rd, 2016

A pay increase is in effect and will affect Atlanta law enforcement jobs.

The pay increase is for mid-career officers in the Atlanta Police Department (APD) and Atlanta Fire Rescue Department (AFRD). The pay increase was included as an amendment in the $2.02 billion FY17 budget, passed 13 – 1 by the Atlanta City Council tonight. The budget amendment passed unanimously 14 – 0.

“The City of Atlanta has the best public safety departments in the state – our Atlanta Police Department and the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department,” said Mayor Reed. “Our officers receive the highest-quality training available and are recognized as leaders in their communities. We want to keep those officers working within the ranks of APD and AFRD, and support them as they advance their careers and put down roots in the City of Atlanta. I congratulate everyone who worked long and hard to come to today’s agreement. I believe this measure will promote a safer, more prosperous city.”

The pay increases will take effect on October 1, 2016 and cost $6.3 million. The City’s Chief Financial Officer will identify permanent funding for the pay increase.

Since Mayor Reed’s inauguration in January 2010, public safety personnel and city employees have received nine salary increases totaling more than $19 million in compensation. In January 2011, sworn officers in the Atlanta Police and the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department received a full step pay increase of 3.5 percent, the first full step increase granted since 2007. In 2013, sworn personnel received two additional pay increases, for a total of 5.5 percent in increases. Within the last 60 days, Mayor Reed addressed the long-standing issue of compression within the ranks of Lieutenant and Sergeant in the APD by creating a new three-tier salary schedule. The Administration worked with various employee groups and union representatives to develop this approach.

The pay increase in both departments provides clear compensation growth for mid-career sworn professionals, keeping more experienced officers and firefighters in Atlanta and supporting them as they grow their families. The budget amendment also keeps pay and benefits competitive across all ranks in both departments.


Investment creates Atlanta hospitality jobs

Sunday, July 3rd, 2016

A fresh investment is working towards creating Atlanta hospitality jobs.

The new $500,000 “Splash Island” at Adams Park amenity fulfills Mayor Reed’s campaign commitment to reopen and revitalize recreation centers, parks and pools, while offering best-in-class amenities for residents and young people to enjoy at the facilities.

“I am proud to join with our partners and community members to celebrate the new spray pool at Adams Park,” said Mayor Reed. “Without access to quality public parks and recreation centers as a child, I would not be Mayor of the City of Atlanta today. I know how important these spaces are to our young people and how important our young people are to the future of our city. I hope kids and families can enjoy this new amenity this summer and for years to come.”

“Splash Island” features a spray pool, water cannons, a huge dumping water bucket, new lifeguard chairs and deck space to accommodate large crowds. The City of Atlanta was able to expand the scope of this project with additional funding provided by Carnival Cruise Line through a partnership with Park Pride.

To date, the Department of Parks and Recreation has opened all formerly-closed recreation centers in the city and established 15 Centers of Hope where Atlanta youth can receive educational enrichment and character development, participate in extra-curricular activities and obtain technology skills. In addition, fourteen pools are now available to residents in the City of Atlanta, as well as six spray pools located at Adams Park, D.H. Stanton Park, Historic 4th Ward Park, Center Hill Park, Perkerson Park and Reverend James Orange Park.

“Mayor Reed set a goal for every resident in the City of Atlanta to have access to greenspace and quality recreational opportunities. Through his vision and leadership, the Department of Parks and Recreation is investing in every part of the city, working to create exceptional public spaces and enrich the lives of our residents,” said Amy Phuong, Commissioner of the Department of Parks and Recreation.

In 2014, the Department of Parks and Recreation acquired an additional 171 acres of land, including 14 new parks. This additional greenspace increased the percentage of Atlanta residents living within a half-mile walk of a park from 50 percent to 64 percent.

Grant boosts Atlanta jobs

Sunday, July 3rd, 2016

A new grant is going to help Atlanta jobs.

The Atlanta Workforce Development Agency (AWDA) said  that it has been awarded a $4 million TechHire grant by the U.S. Department of Labor.

The grant will support the ATL TechHire initiative, a program led by the Atlanta Workforce Development Agency, in partnership with The Iron Yard and TechSquare Labs. Participants in the ATL TechHire initiative will be enrolled in TechSquare Labs’ innovative culture fit, corporate innovation and career readiness programs, as well as fast-track training with one of The Iron Yard’s coding bootcamps.

Participants will train for jobs in front- and back-end engineering, mobile engineering, data science, and design. The U.S. Department of Labor also awarded a $3.6 million grant to the Atlanta Technical College. Overall, Atlanta-based organizations received $7.6 million in total grant awards.

“This $4 million Department of Labor TechHire grant is a great opportunity for the City of Atlanta to ensure that our residents, particularly Atlanta’s youth and young adults with barriers to employment, receive the support and resources they need to attain training and self-sustaining employment in the growing technology industry,” said Michael T. Sterling, Executive Director, Atlanta Workforce Development Agency. “As the workforce system for the City of Atlanta, we are fortunate to push this effort forward. It is an honor to work collaboratively with our dedicated partners at TechSquare Labs and The Iron Yard to make sure that Atlanta is leading the way towards technology and business job growth in the south and throughout the country.”

Over $150 million in the H-1B TechHire grant program has been awarded to 39 partnerships providing training in 25 states across the country. More than 18,000 participants will receive services through the TechHire grant program, with a focus on youth and young adults ages 17-29 with barriers to employment, as well as veterans and individuals with disabilities, limited English proficiency, criminal records, and long-term unemployment. Training will center on high-growth sectors, including information technology, advanced manufacturing, and healthcare.

“Today’s TechHire Grant award to The City of Atlanta Workforce Development Agency, in particular, demonstrates the collaborative power of public private partnerships,” said Rodney Sampson, Partner, TechSquare Labs. “TechSquare Labs is excited about the role it is playing in ensuring that Atlanta is not just Inclusive Technology Capital of the South, but the nation and world. Long-term, by developing an inclusive technical workforce and ultimately, more technical cofounders of high-growth startups, we will solve the right problems that our Fortune 1000 companies are willing to pay for which will result in the creation of more diverse lead firms, new jobs, new wealth, new opportunities and transformed communities. We’re creating tomorrow’s Atlanta today as well as the model for other cities to emulate and follow.”