City Information Is More Available
Have you ever wished you could use your cellphone as a compass to lead you to the nearest subway stop? Or as a tour guide to help you navigate the city’s parks and cultural institutions? Or as a card catalog to help you locate books at public libraries?
Now, thanks to a competition we launched last year, you can. More than 80 teams of software developers entered New York City’s inaugural Big Apps Competition. Their challenge was to use data sets from more than 30 city government agencies to create user-friendly applications, or “apps”, for iPhones, Blackberries, or other hand-held devices. The city received 85 submissions that were judged by a panel of technology experts and venture capitalists. Last week, we announced the 10 winning apps. Their creators will receive cash prizes totaling $20,000 and a dinner with yours truly. All of the applications entered in the contest are now available for public use and can be accessed through the city Web site, www.nyc.gov.
Information technology has revolutionized the private sector, but the public sector is still catching up. The applications created as part of the Big Apps Competition will help increase government transparency and make city services even more accessible to residents and visitors. At the same time, our involvement in the competition will help strengthen new media, a sector of the economy that has enormous potential for growth and job creation. We want New York to be the epicenter of that growth so that our residents benefit from the jobs it creates. That’s why we’re going to hold a second Big Apps Competition this year.
As we continue to invest in growing industries, we are also stepping up our commitment to job training and placement so that more New Yorkers gain the skills they need to work in those industries. During 2009, we achieved a record 25,128 job placements, often putting people in better-paying jobs than they had previously. And this year, we intend to do even better. To help us meet that goal, NYC Media, the city television station, has launched a new show called “Job Hunt” that helps New Yorkers navigate today’s rapidly changing job market with tips on resume writing, interviewing and a whole host of other subjects. It runs on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on NYC Life, Channel 25 for most people in the city. It will continue to air in that timeslot for the next nine weeks and will also be available on demand at nyc.gov. Each episode of “Job Hunt” will highlight city resources available from agencies such as the Department of Small Business Services and feature advice for job seekers at every stage of life, including those over 40, returning veterans, college students and people with disabilities.
Looking for a job can be a daunting and sometimes overwhelming task. But there is help out there, and we want all New Yorkers to know about it. Some of the job seekers featured on “Job Hunt” went to the city Workforce 1 Career Centers for counseling and advice. Taking that first step helped lead them to new careers. So if you’re looking for work, after checking out the show, why not call 311 to find a Workforce 1 Career Center near you? The career specialists there can help you begin writing your own success story.