2017 Federal Priorities

After the Presidential election, the Partnership surveyed CEOs to solicit their views on the top federal priorities for 2017. There was broad consensus that the most important issues for New York and its business community are:

  1. Infrastructure
    Put Americans to work building modern, resilient infrastructure
  2. Tax and regulatory relief
    Accelerate economic growth and balance the federal budget without slashing essential services
  3. Cyber and homeland security
    Increase business-government collaboration to protect the nation
  4. Education and workforce development
    Ensure all Americans have the opportunity to succeed at work
  5. Immigration
    Attract global talent to meet labor market needs

The federal priorities document, produced with the help of Oliver Wyman, elaborates on these issues. It is intended to provide Partnership members with a consistent framework for discussions with the incoming Trump administration and leaders of Congress.

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Modernizing New York’s Infrastructure

A city is only as great as its basic infrastructure. New York is far behind other global cities in the modernization and maintenance of its transportation and other public assets. A problem that is further compounded by the city’s $60 billion infrastructure repair need over the next five years. However, by improving regulatory and approval processes and advancing public-private collaboration, we can leverage the private sector resources and expertise needed to achieve world-class infrastructure. The Partnership is working to make sure we maximize these opportunities.


Expand Design-Build
Design-build is a streamlined method of public procurement and contracting for capital projects that allows government to enter into a contract for the engineering and construction work for complex projects through a single bid process. With limitations on the agencies that are able to utilize design-build, New York is behind the forty-one states that widely use this form of procurement, adding hundreds of millions of dollars the city’s 10-year capital plan and years to project timelines. By expanding design build authority to localities, New York can more efficiently invest in its infrastructure.

Modernization and Expansion of Regional Airports
The region’s airports are responsible for nearly half a million jobs and $63 billion in economic activity. New York City employers spent $57 billion on 8.7 million flights to and from the New York metro region in 2015. Investments in accessibility and capacity enhance New York’s capacity for global commerce.

Introduction of Public-Private Partnerships to Improve Mass Transit
In October 2014, New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli released a report based on a NYC Transit survey that found that approximately 90 percent of New York subway stations had structural defects, yet ridership grows by more than 30 million rides each year. New York can do more with less. Enabling P3s would give the state access to capital from pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, insurance companies, private equity firms and concessionaires to supplement public dollars.

The Innovation Economy

Advanced technology is the fastest growing sector of the New York City economy, but still represents only 5 percent of its economic output. The Partnership champions private and public sector initiatives that reinforce the city’s strengths as a hub for innovation and a magnet for global talent.


The Partnership supports sustained initiatives that promote growth in the innovation sector:

The Partnership Innovation Council
New York City and state present particularly formidable legal, regulatory and political obstacles to companies that are introducing new business models and disruptive technologies. The Partnership has launched an Innovation Council that will work to identify and resolve legal and regulatory challenges that threaten the continued growth of the tech sector.

The Partnership Fund
The Partnership Fund for New York City is continuing its successful efforts to promote the growth of local industry clusters around fintech, health IT and life sciences and launch new efforts around smart cities technology and advanced manufacturing.

New York City tech employment is up 47 percent since 2009, compared to 15 percent growth for overall employment.


The Partnership Fund has created programs and invested in companies that help diversify and accelerate New York City’s economy. Here are some examples of work being done:

  • Accelerating technology-based entrepreneurship
  • FinTech Innovation Lab, Digital Health Accelerator
  • Investing in promising innovations
  • New Lab, Celmatix, trueEX
  • Encouraging commercialization of research and the growth of life science companies
  • The Partnership Fund created a $15 million loan program to encourage bioscience companies to move to The Alexandria Center, the city’s first commercial science park.

Education & Workforce Development

The only sustainable solution to income inequality is a good education and access to the skills required to succeed in the knowledge economy. The Partnership promotes employer engagement with the city’s schools and universities, focusing on initiatives that increase the number of students who are well-prepared for college and career.


The Partnership is working to engage employers in revamping Career & Technical Education (CTE) programs in public schools and colleges. This includes support for initiatives like Computer Science for All.

The Partnership is also performing an intermediary function to resolve conflicts over education policy and resource allocation in an effort to keep the focus on student achievement.

The Partnership supports city goals of expanding opportunities for work experience for students and unemployed New Yorkers.

Over 60 percent of public high school students in the class of 2016 are not college or career ready.

As of February 2017, there are 176,000 unemployed New Yorkers, but 113,000 unfilled job openings.


CTE Intermediary Structure
The Partnership collaborated with Department of Education to help shape the plan for $1.5 million added to the FY 2017 city budget to fund a demonstration of how intermediary organizations can play a more meaningful role in the CTE delivery system. This new structure will engage nonprofit intermediaries to help scale employer commitments to internships and other work experience opportunities for new and existing CTE programs.

Mayoral Control
The Partnership was a leading force in promoting mayoral control and advocating for its extension.

Multiple Pathways
The Partnership was a key advocate pushing for the New York state’s Board of Regents to establish multiple pathways to graduation for high school students. These multiple pathways encourage career-oriented studies and give students a practical skillset to help prepare them for college and the workforce.

Quality of Life

Safety, affordability and livability are essential to New York City’s global competitiveness. The Partnership supports public policies and programs that advance these objectives.

The Partnership is also monitoring quality of life issues in our quarterly dashboard of economic indicators that show the city’s progress or slippage.


Overall crime in New York City dropped 4 percent from 2015 to 2016.

Murders dropped by 4 percent from 2015 to 2016.


With over 800 homeless people per 100,000 residents, New York City has more homeless people per capita than any other major U.S. city except Washington, D.C. and Boston. Nearly 90 percent of the city’s homeless are African-American or Latino.


New York City has twice as many homeless people as any other U.S. city.


The city accounts for 2.7 percent of the nation’s total population, but 14 percent of the homeless.


The city’s sheltered homeless population has grown 53 percent in the last five years.

Homeless Shelter Population

75% Families

40% Children


In 2016, it costs $94.57 a night to shelter a single adult (20 percent increase over 2015) and $120.22 for a family (6.9 percent increase from 2015). The city’s Independent Budget Office projects shelter costs in the city to reach nearly $1.7 billion in 2017, up 20 percent from 2016.

Current Law
The city cannot remove homeless people from the street against their will, unless they present an immediate danger to themselves or others. By law, the city’s homeless have the right to receive shelter.

311 Calls
In the past five years, there was a 72 percent increase in 311 calls reporting a homeless person in need of assistance or a homeless encampment. More than 75 percent of calls about homelessness come from Manhattan.

Increase in Homeless Population
An annual survey of homeless people living on the streets suggests that the population has increased just 6 percent over the past five years, but many argue it is undercounted.