Ray McGuire, Vice Chairman of Citigroup Inc.
Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Ray McGuire, the former Citigroup executive who runs for New York mayor, is due to come up with a plan that he believes will bring more than 500,000 jobs to the city.
McGuire’s campaign gave CNBC a first look at what he’ll be calling for in the plan. He suggests creating jobs using a variety of methods, including a comprehensive proposal to reform infrastructure and take advantage of federal and state subsidies.
New York lost over 500,000 jobs in the twelve months to December, in large part due to the coronavirus pandemic.
McGuire’s plan will also fuel the city’s increased collaboration with tech companies, from local startups to Silicon Valley giants, to fuel job growth.
McGuire is one of a large group of Democrats running for mayor. Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang recently jumped into the race. Primary school is planned for June.
A senior McGuire campaign member told CNBC that the Wall Street manager would first come up with ideas for communities on how to get these tech companies into the city before contacting any of the companies. This person declined to be named in order to speak freely.
McGuire’s plan comes nearly two years after Amazon announced its plan to establish a so-called second headquarters in New York after a strong pushback from progressives like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, DN.Y. Amazon said it brought 25,000 jobs to New York. The company is now renting space in Manhattan.
McGuire’s plan doesn’t mention Amazon or any other specific company.
The former Citi executive plans to have his employment plan in place within his first 100 days if he is elected mayor. Much of this would be done through executive power. Other pieces must work with either the city council or the state or federal government.
For example, the plan is to bring back 50,000 small business jobs through wage subsidies that would cover “50 percent of a worker’s wages for a year.”
“Small businesses could apply for the multi-employee grant, but the program would be capped at 50 percent of a company’s headcount in January 2020,” the plan said.
Small businesses in New York have been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic. McGuire’s plan is to “target companies that have lost more than 40 percent of total sales compared to 2019” while ensuring that the funds go to “communities hardest hit by unemployment as a result of the pandemic”.
The senior campaign advisor said the subsidies would come in part from the $ 2 trillion Covid relief bill that then-President Donald Trump signed earlier last year. This person noticed that there is part of the bill that includes a wage subsidy component.
The Institute for Economic Policy says on its website that the legislation contains a “100% federal grant for division of labor in states that already have division of labor programs”. New York is on the list of states that have labor-sharing programs.
The infrastructure component of the plan would drive shovel-ready projects. It would also include a new human resource development program to give people who have lost their positions in other industries access to infrastructure jobs.
McGuire’s infrastructure investments will focus on affordable housing and transit projects such as the Hudson Tunnel, which is part of the Gateway program to improve rail traffic along the Northeast Corridor.
The lengthy, multi-billion dollar rail tunnel project would create new double-track tunnels under the Hudson River between New York’s Penn Station and New Jersey. Pete Buttigieg, Biden’s candidate for the head of the Department of Transportation, said in his confirmation hearing that he wanted to “move forward” the tunnel project.
The infrastructure proposal indicated that some of these projects will be funded through private-public partnerships. The senior campaign advisor said McGuire’s connections in the corporate industry had already helped in this regard as he had begun working with investment firms who could help fund major infrastructure projects.
This person declined to say which companies McGuire was in contact with.
McGuire’s plan would be federally funded and herald the former Citi executive’s relationship with President Joe Biden’s administration. Biden has proposed total federal spending of $ 3 trillion on green infrastructure projects and $ 100 billion on affordable housing.
McGuire has a close relationship with Vice President Kamala Harris. He was actively raising money for her presidential campaign.