Feb. 25, 2021 By Michael Dorgan
The Queens Chamber of Commerce has created a new council that aims to transform Queens into a new technology hub.
The Queens Tech Council, which launched Wednesday, aims to lure tech companies to the borough and make sure that existing businesses are in a position to embrace new technologies.
The council is comprised of representatives from major tech companies such as Google, Facebook and Amazon as well as professionals from start-up companies and local businesses.
It was launched to help Queens bounce back from the economic crisis and to help local companies adapt to technological changes.
Tom Grech, the president and CEO of the Queens Chamber of Commerce, said that the world’s borough is an attractive option for tech companies due to its rich diversity, world-class universities and accessible transportation network.
“As our borough and region look to rebound from the pandemic, we need to be leveraging all the assets that Queens has,” Grech said.
“The Queens Tech Council will focus on making sure tech companies have everything they need to grow and thrive and that all Queens businesses have the tech resources required to remain competitive in an increasingly global marketplace,” Grech said.
Local government and community leaders will also form part of the council’s membership along with economic development groups like the Long Island City Partnership and the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation.
The council will help Queens-based tech companies tap into resources and capital. It will also support companies in traditional industries to adopt new technologies into their business operations.
The Queens Chamber of Commerce said that Cornell Tech and the Business Incubator Association of New York State will help upskill Queens workers through the council in order to make them more employable.
Angela Pinsky, head of government affairs for Google in New York, said that the tech industry is expanding and offers plenty of job opportunities.
“Technology has not only helped different segments of the city stay connected through this pandemic, but employment in this still-growing sector can also continue to be a strong career path and an economic ladder for Queens residents and New Yorkers,” Pinsky said.
The announcement comes at a time when many companies have been forced to foster new technologies and rely on digital tools to do business due to COVID-19 restrictions. The Queens Tech Council wants to make sure that no companies are left behind as a result of these changes.
Elizabeth Lusskin, the president of the LIC Partnership, said it is essential that Queens remains at the forefront of technological innovation in order to rebuild its economy.
“The Queens Chamber’s Tech Council will go a long way in ensuring that tech businesses, whether they be large or small, new to Queens or lifelong residents, will have the tools they need to flourish right here in Queens,” Lusskin said.
The Queens Chamber of Commerce is the oldest and largest business association in Queens, representing more than 1,300 businesses and more than 125,000 Queens-based employees.