The group will be made up of major tech companies, startups, business leaders, government representatives and community leaders. So far, the council includes representatives from Google, Facebook and Amazon, as well as local groups like Pursuit, Long Island City Partnership, Crown Castle and the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation.
Tom Grech, president and CEO of the Queens Chamber, said the borough has rich diversity, transportation infrastructure, world-class colleges and universities and a thriving arts and culture scene, making Queens an attractive option for tech companies.
“As our borough and region look to rebound from the pandemic, we need to be leveraging all the assets that Queens has,” he 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.”
The council will promote innovation and technology adoption, ensure that Queens continues to produce talent, and work with tech companies to get the resources and capital they need.
Borough President Donovan Richards said his office will work with the new Queens Tech Council to make the borough “the future for tech and economic development.”
“Queens is known for our diversity in our residents’ backgrounds, cultures, infrastructure and economy,” he said, “and therefore, an ideal location for any tech startup to launch.”
Kia Floyd, Facebook’s eastern head of Public Policy, said Queens’s strong business economy, diverse talent base and access to arts, culture, media and commerce first attracted the company to New York City in 2007.
“As we continue to grow, it’s important that we do our part in fostering opportunities in tech that are equitable for all,” Floyd said.
Hope Knight, president and CEO of the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation, said the tech council has the potential to lift people, businesses and neighborhoods out of the economic crisis.
“Downtown Jamaica, a mass transit hub that’s home to York College, a diverse business district and a vibrant residential community, is proud to be part of this vital initiative,” she said.