This month Empire Outlets, owned by BFC Partners and Goldman Sachs, unveiled a free job training program for those wishing to begin a career in the retail industry. Fulfilling a commitment made to the Staten Island community prior to its ground breaking in 2015, Empire Outlets will create 1,200 new jobs when it opens next spring.  At least 60% of those jobs will be reserved for Staten Islanders.  Casandra Properties was instrumental in securing that commitment in our role as consultant to the project.

Goldman Sachs’ Urban Investment Group, the Staten Island Business Outreach Program, The Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development and Councilwoman Debi Rose created the hiring program which will include free job training courses beginning on September 25th.  The courses are designed to help individuals develop the skills needed for retail and food and beverage service positions that will be available at Empire Outlets. Those completing the program will receive a certificate from the New York State Small Business Development Center and LaGuardia Community College. The employment program is just one of the many benefits that large scale projects provide to their surrounding communities.

As the exclusive leasing agent and consultant to Empire Outlets, Casandra Properties’ focus has been to create a synergy between the developer and the Staten Island community.  We worked closely with Goldman Sachs’ Urban Investment Group, BFC Partners and Councilmember Rose to ensure that this project will provide long term community benefits.

Said James Prendamano, Managing Director for Casandra Properties, “In our role as consultant to Empire Outlets, we had a unique opportunity to act as an advocate for the Staten Island community and to find creative ways to secure benefits for the borough beyond the obvious retail, restaurant and public access amenities. This training program is being funded by BFC Partners, Goldman Sachs and Councilmember Debi Rose and will be administered locally by the Staten Island Business Outreach Center, an organization that understands Staten Island. By agreeing to have the program administered locally, BFC Partners and Goldman Sachs doubled down on their investment in our borough, ensuring that hundreds of individuals will have an opportunity for a career in the retail industry which is the largest private employer in the United States.”

According to, the United States retail industry contains 3.8 million retail establishments employing 29 million people. The retail industry supports an additional 42 million jobs across America.

The curriculum for the free job training program includes: customer service communication, conflict resolution, leadership skills, retail math and resume and interview skills. Participants will also have access to free OSHA 10-Hour General Industry and CPR/First Aid training to further build out their education.

With retail sales expected to increase in the future, this free job training program will provide individuals with the skill set to establish a lucrative career in the retail industry.

The program will be open to Staten Islanders who are 18 years of age or older and who are eligible to work in the United States. Training sessions run from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm or a 4:30 to 8:30 pm session.

For more information or to sign up for the workforce program, visit or call the Staten Island Business Outreach Center at 718-816-4775.