New economic program for low-income NYers

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The city is reaching out to low-income New Yorkers to make sure they are riding the wave of recent economic improvements.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the city's Economic Development Corporation launched an initiative known as Leveraging Innovations and Our Neighborhoods in the Knowledge Economy (LINK) Monday as a way to create new opportunities for immigrants and residents who don't have extensive academic backgrounds.

The eight programs that make up LINK will use apps, training classes and ideas to entice businesses to give more people a chance at a great career, according to the mayor.

"Every day, we're working to make sure that our record job growth continues in New York City," he said in a statement.

The programs include one geared for associate degree and certificate degree students. Students who participate in the program can receive assistance to apply for paid internships at in-demand industries such as tech start-ups.

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Another program offers micro loans between $1,000 and $10,000 to unemployed and underemployed immigrant New Yorkers for educational purposes.

Leslie Robbins, executive director of the nonprofit Riverside Language Program, said many immigrants have the skills that top companies are looking for but they face tough roadblocks because of their limited English.

"Because this new program . . . provides training in the English language, interviewing skills, and resume preparation . . . New York City will benefit from a whole new pool of intellectual riches," Robbins said in a statement.

Other programs would create and promote apps that alert prospective employees about job openings and competitions for corporations to come up with new ways to improve their workforces.

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