$45 million to help laid-off Wall Streeters

Mayor Michael Bloomberg details plans to retrain out-of-work bankers and to attract firms to the city's financial district.

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Ben Rooney, CNNMoney.com staff writer

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- New York City plans to spend $45 million on job training and other programs to aid unemployed bankers and reinvigorate the city's business community.

The programs are ultimately aimed at helping the city retain its status as a global financial capital, said Mayor Michael Bloomberg, amid the massive downsizing or collapse of many Wall Street staple firms.

Late last month, the mayor said the city could lose some 46,000 Wall Street jobs by the second quarter of 2010.

Roughly $30 million of existing federal incentives will be used to entice new financial services firms to Lower Manhattan, while the city itself will invest $15 million in other projects, such as job retraining.

The job retraining program, called JumpStart NYC, is designed to prepare unemployed Wall Streeters to transition into venture capital businesses in the city. Starting in April, 50 students will partake in an entrepreneurial "boot camp" as well as 10-week internships designed to result in full-time employment.

Seth Pinsky, president of New York's Economic Development Corporation, said the city hopes to retain the thousands of talented workers who came to Wall Street during the boom years, but are now unemployed.

"The people coming out of investment banks have skills: they're engineers, scientist, physicists," he said. "We want to take advantage of those people."

Pinsky said venture capital is the best way for these workers to capitalize on their skills and to attract investment dollars to the city.

"We want to make New York a hotbed of entrepreneurialism," he said.

The plan also seeks to put the city in a position "to capture growth" once the global economy stabilizes, Bloomberg said in a statement.

"The financial services meltdown is a global problem, not one that any city or even nation can solve on its own," Bloomberg said. "And although we can't predict exactly what its revival will look like, we're confident the sector will come back."

One of the 11 initiatives includes a big push toward attracting more banks and insurance companies from developing economies such as China, India and the Middle East.

The city will also provide $3 million in seed money for an "angel fund" that will invest $20,000 to $250,000 in area-based start-up companies. The fund is expected to help launch 250 new business over eight years.

Additionally, the city will work with universities and other property holders in the city to provide low-cost leases for burgeoning businesses.

"These initiatives will address unique and acute challenges facing New York, utilizing a modest public investment to leverage substantial contributions from the private and academic sectors," Pinsky said. "In time, the City's modest investment will generate substantial returns." To top of page

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