NYC Relying Less on Financial Sector
Bloomberg said high tech has become a larger focus for New York because the city is moving to diversify its economy to rely less on the financial sector. "We are very dependent on finance," Bloomberg said. "We love finance; when it's good, it is great. But finance is a cyclical business. And when it turns south, one of the things in government is we cannot reduce our expenses the way you would in the private sector."In fact, said Bloomberg, government expenditures increase when the going gets bad because government is called on to provide more services. "One of our solutions to the problem is to try to get rid of the down cycles in our revenue by diversifying the economy, geographically, through all five boroughs, but also across different industries that have low correlation to each other," he said. "So, for example, film, television, fashion, art and culture, tourism and modern manufacturing are things we are looking at. We are now the film capital of the world. We've become the fashion capital of the world. Each of these industries produces billions of dollars in revenue."And technology is another one of those industries, Bloomberg said. That is partly why New York City has teamed with IBM to launch a new high school focused on technology, he added. "We've turned around a public school system that was once a poster child for dysfunction into one that Washington now hails as a national model," Bloomberg said. In reforming public education, New York formed partnerships with a number of private companies including IBM, he said. "And together with IBM and the City College of New York, we created a groundbreaking new school that opened its doors this year. It is called Pathways in Technology High School, or P-Tech, and it runs from grades 9-14. All students at P-Tech will learn the traditional core subjects, but they will also receive an education in computer science and complete two years of college work. So when they graduate from grade 14 with an associate degree and a qualified record, IBM has said that they will be first in line for jobs at IBM." Indeed, students at P-Tech will also help New York further its goal to diversify its local economy by supporting the industries that have growth potential and expansion.