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Jobs program at Kennedy, LaGuardia renewed

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The PA last week announced it would extend the financial support of the Council for Airport Opportunity so the program can continue providing access to airport jobs for Queens residents living near Kennedy and LaGuardia airports.

"We are committed to ensuring that residents who live near the airports have access to as many airport and airport-related jobs as possible," said Port Authority Chairman Anthony Coscia in a statement. "The Council for Airport Opportunity is a tremendous resource linking airport businesses that have positions to fill with community residents looking for jobs."

The program operates in Queens as well as in New Jersey near Newark Airport to connect people surrounding the airports with jobs in the aviation and related industries, according to a Port Authority news release. The council, founded in 1972, provides job training and recruitment for primarily minority and disadvantaged people and places them with companies that work with the Port Authority at the two Queens airports as well as Newark, the release said.

"The Council for Airport Opportunities has been a tremendously successful partnership between the Port Authority and airport businesses to the benefit of residents living near our airports," said Joseph Seymour, executive director of the Port Authority. "CAO provides interested local residents with counseling on job readiness, interviewing skills and job search techniques."

The council also runs a summer youth program to allow high school students to get job experience, he said.

The Port Authority gave the Council for Airport Opportunity $1.6 million to continue running the program in 2004, the news release said. Last year the council was awarded the same operating budget.

"Thousands of residents in Queens and New Jersey have found employment with the assistance of CAO," said Charles Gargano, a Port Authority vice president. "Gov. (George) Pataki is committed to creating as many opportunities as possible for residents of New York."

Gargano added that more than 2,000 people were placed in jobs in the airport or related industries in 2003.

Reach reporter Courtney Dentch by e-mail at news@timesledger.com, or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.

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