The Barclays Center will create approximately 105 full-time jobs and about 1901 part-time jobs to New York City residents, according to a Forest City Ratner representative who gave a presentation to Community Board 6 on Monday night.
With five months to the opening event, the question of how many Brooklynites will get jobs from the new arena is one that needs an answer. And starting on Monday, FCR met with CB6 and will meet with Community Boards 2, 3 and 8 to give details.
Ashley Cotton, the vice president of FCR, told CB6 to expect approximately 2006 jobs in total from FCR’s subsidiary, Brooklyn Events Center, and the arena’s operator, AEG and Levy Restaurants, , combined. However, only 105 of the positions will be full-time. The rest will be part-time.
The part-time jobs will be event driven, so the number of employees working at any given week will fluctuate.
David Anderson, AEG's vice president of Event and Guest Services, said that the biggest number of part-timers that will work at any event, like a playoff game, will be 800. And during other regular season games or concerts that number will be less than 800.
Cotton said that employing Brooklynites will be the arena’s hiring priority:
"Our goal is to hire as many Brooklyn residents as possible," Cotton said, explaining that employees will be hired in July to August.
Cotton said that they will conduct a "priority outreach" to "maximize the number of
employees from Brooklyn." They will focus on employing people who live in Community Boards 2, 3, 6 and 8, graduates of Brooklyn United for Innovative Local Development (BUILD) training program and residents of New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) buildings.
Job openings will be posted on the Barclays Center’s website and a quarterly report will also be published on their website about where in Brooklyn and the city the people hired live.
Come June, the Barclays Events Center will hold job fairs in Brooklyn open to the public where people can come to fill out applications and be interviewed, but employment will be “contingent on a background check and drug test.”
All of the jobs are expected to be unionized, Cotton said.
Full-time jobs will come with vacation days and medical benefits. However, the part-time jobs will not offer vacation days or medical benefits. However, after the employees form a union (which they are expected to, since FCR is “union friendly”) they will be able to negotiate other terms.
FCR, AEG and Levy were not able to give any hard numbers on their future employees’ salaries/wages, but Anderson did say the jobs would offer a “competitive wage of what’s in the market.” He then cited that similar stadium jobs at The Prudential Center, Yankee Stadium and Madison Square Garden where employees receive above minimum wage.
They also said that the wages and hours are subject to collective bargaining from the unions, once formed.
Anderson said in his experience, after a Collective Bargaining Agreement, jobs of these kinds almost always offer livable wages.
“The expectations are that it’s above minimum wage,” Anderson said.
An attendee at the meeting asked if they would hire people with criminal records. For example, the member said, would they hire a man who got arrested at age 16 “with an ounce of pot” or an ex-felon.
Anderson said that they will be conducting drug tests and background checks, however they will consider ex-felons.
“We weigh each case individually. We will hire some ex-felons, but we won’t have someone who was in jail for armed robbery handle cash,” Anderson explained.
Lou Sones, a CB6 member, said that the number of part-time versus full-time positions is a “slim ratio.”
Anderson joked, “Tell that to my bosses.” Then he changed his tone and stated unfortunately, “Those full-time positions are what we need, nothing more.”
Community Board members told the representatives that they were “burned” by Ikea, who came to them before they moved in to the borough and said they would hire people from Brooklyn, but after six months almost all Kings County residents were gone.
“We are going to hold your feet to the fire,” a CB6 member said.
“Longevity of our employees is something we are proud of,” Julie Margolin, Levy’s director of operations said. “We have people who were hired when buildings opened 10 years ago and are still there. That’s our goal.”