They stopped at the Canada Dry Bottling Company of New York, located at 50-35 56th Rd., for a walk-through of the distribution center warehouse.
“I think it’s important to find resources in the government to work with the IBZ to have workforce investment training,” Crowley said. “Whether it’s teaching the commercial driving license classes or English as a second language, anything that would break down the barrier for employment for those who want to find work in this field.”
Crowley has pledged to expand the IBZ program, which currently offers tax credit incentives, financial assistance and help dealing with city agencies.
“We need to expand our support for them and provide them with the resources they need to produce good-paying jobs right here in Maspeth,” she said.
Her plan includes providing additional grants to businesses that want to refurbish underserved factories. Currently, there are tax credits of $1,000 per employee and up to $100,000 for companies in an IBZ that relocate their plant within the zoned area.
She also plans to create a small business task force in the 30th Council District and work to extend local bus lines within the IBZ.
“We going to continue to put the pressure,” she said. “We don’t want businesses leaving for any reason.”
Kevin Walker, vice president of sales at Canada Dry Bottling Company of New York, said one of his main concerns is getting his workers to the facility in the morning.
“We don’t have public transportation,” Walker said. “It’s a tough building to get to, and sometimes we have some guys that ride their bikes here.”
As Walker showed Crowley around the facility, he explained that his company is vital to the region.
“We have a lot of people that have been here a long time,” Walker said, explaining that people in management positions have been with the company for over 20 years. “We don’t have a lot of turnover.”
Tanler said that many businesses in the IBZ aren’t always aware of the benefits and programs already available.
“This area has a very high concentration of jobs,” Tanler said. “I don’t think a lot of people realize how many businesses really are located here and the type of jobs that they provide are middle-class, well-paying good jobs.”
Tanler said it is important that businesses in the IBZ take advantage of programs like the Stipulated Parking Fine program, a system that automatically dismisses common tickets depending on ticket severity, for manufacturing companies.
“I try to tell the businesses that I meet that if they’re planning any big projects - building a new building, relocating, renovating, hiring, training - there’s a lot of different programs they can take advantage of,” said Tanler.