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JFK Airport Construction Sets Record MWBE Participation with $2.3B in Contracts Awarded

QUEENS, NY — Governor Kathy Hochul announces a historic milestone in the ongoing transformation of JFK International Airport, where a record $2.3 billion in contracts have been awarded to Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE). This is the largest participation of MWBE firms on any public-private partnership project in New York State history. With construction of new airport facilities fully underway, MWBE participation at JFK will continue to break records until the redevelopment is substantially complete, expected in 2028. The JFK redevelopment also demonstrates a significant focus on working with local contractors, awarding more than $950 million in contracts to Queens-based businesses to date.

"New York remains committed to providing travelers with a premier experience that includes world-class amenities, and record involvement by local minority- and women-owned businesses will ensure just that," Hochul said. “This transformative project uplifts these businesses and deepens investments in the community while bolstering the state workforce.”

With today’s announcement JFK surpasses the LaGuardia Airport redevelopment, which set the previous New York State record for MWBE participation in a public-private project with $2.2 billion in contracts awarded. As the $19 billion JFK project moves forward, additional contracts with MWBE firms will be awarded to meet with the Port Authority’s goal of 30 percent MWBE participation for the agency’s capital projects, consistent with Hochul’s nation-leading goals for MWBE utilization in state projects. The Port Authority is working closely with its private terminal developer partners — The New Terminal One, Delta Air Lines and JFKIAT, JFK Millennium Partners, and American Airlines — to engage minority- and women-owned businesses along with local businesses in every aspect of the redevelopment program. To date, 680 MWBEs have been awarded contracts at JFK along with more than 200 businesses based in Queens.

The latest MWBE and local business participation milestones were celebrated at JFK’s Building 111, a 76-year-old office building on the airport’s north side that underwent extensive renovations in order to create a collaborative workspace for the JFK Redevelopment construction and program management teams to work alongside each other, including the private terminal developers who are financing and overseeing the terminal projects. The $20 million renovation of Building 111 was designed and constructed mainly by MWBE and local contractors. Sabor Restaurant & Bakery, a local, Queens-based MWBE food vendor, will operate out of a brand-new cafeteria.

To increase MWBE participation at the JFK Redevelopment Program, and across the agency, the Port Authority and its private terminal partners at JFK hosted a variety of capacity-building and technical training programs that prepared firms to be successful in navigating what can at times be complex airport-related procurements. These programs include an academy for principals at architecture and engineering firms, contractor coaching programs that train firms to apply for contracts and construction mentoring programs that recruit, train, and mentor MWBE firms to bid on large public construction projects, and project readiness bootcamps. The redevelopment team has also sponsored hundreds of seminars, webinars, and forums to help firms become MWBE certified, meet and network with prime contractors, and build the skill sets needed to be successful in the field.

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"Our mission at The New Terminal One at JFK extends beyond building a world-class gateway to New York and our nation; we are also steadfast in our commitment to enhancing the lives of our local communities," said Jennifer Aument, JFK’s The New Terminal One CEO. "The remarkable success of our MWBE participation underscores the transformative potential of inclusion and innovation working together, fostering opportunities, jobs, and tangible benefits for our local businesses."

“We are immensely proud to be part of JFK’s historic redevelopment and its future legacy as a model for other airports to follow," said Steve Thody, JFK Millennium Partners Interim CEO. "With over 200 MWBE and local firms currently working on the T6 project — and many more to follow — we are excited to play our part in providing social and economic opportunities for our surrounding community.”

Since its inception, the council has been working with the Port Authority and its private partners to expand community outreach efforts and develop community-focused programs, ensuring that this project solicits ongoing feedback from local stakeholders and provides opportunities for local businesses, MWBEs, students, and jobseekers. This includes programming to advance the Port Authority's commitment to a 30 percent MWBE contracting goal in all categories of work, and a special focus on opportunities for local businesses across all aspects of the redevelopment of JFK, including terminal projects, which will be built by union labor under project labor agreements.

Other community development initiatives prioritized by the council focus on job opportunities and workforce development programs for residents in Southeast Queens, small business outreach and development, and educational programming for local students:

  • The Council for Airport Opportunity Rockaway Career Center is a job recruiting and referral program to match qualified job seekers with jobs in construction and airport operations focused on the Far Rockaway community.
  • The Office of Second Chance Employment helps connect formerly incarcerated individuals and others with past involvement in the criminal justice system to jobs associated with both airport construction and airport operations.
  • The Institute of Concessions is a specialized training program offering extensive training and mentoring to small, local, and diverse businesses intended to increase the number of local and diverse airport concessionaires.
  • The Aviation and Aeronautics Academy provides an aviation-focused weekend and summer education and enrichment program in science, technology, engineering, and math for up to 700 students from grades 1 through 12 annually. In partnership with CUNY York College, it will introduce students from communities surrounding JFK to career opportunities in aviation, airport management, and aerospace technology.
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