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Nicoletti says job training programs will be one of his biggest goals on Syracuse Common Council

Tom Magnarelli
Joe Nicoletti

The Syracuse Common Council voted to appoint Joe Nicoletti to fill the position vacated by Councilor Pam Hunter after she was elected to the Assembly. One of Nicoletti’s biggest goals is to create job training and placement programs in the city.

A week after Hunter resigned, the Common Council voted on her replacement, which caused controversy with some councilors who said there was not enough time spent vetting the candidates. But Nicoletti said he is eager to return to the council which he served on in the 1970s and 1980s.

He said poverty is the underlying cause of all the problems Syracuse is experiencing but the city has exciting opportunities ahead of it. He said he believes central New York will win Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Upstate Revitalization Initiative. Projects being built by COR Development and the Pyramid Companies, plus the decision regarding Interstate-81 and improvements to the state fair, will create job opportunities. But, Nicoletti said, Syracuse needs a trained workforce to fill those jobs.

“Let’s really have a job creation program," Nicoletti said. "The ribbon cuttings mean nothing if at the end of the day we don’t produce people to be able to have jobs.”

Nicoletti wants to meet with other local governments, the governor’s office and Centerstate CEO in order to do so.

 “Come up with a program that would provide under-skilled young men and women with apprentice programs, opportunities to enter into the work field,” Nicoletti said. “That’s how you do it. There is no magical wand.”

He said he remembers when Syracuse was a vibrant city, when the neighborhoods were better and there was less crime. He said the city will not be a successful entity until everyone has the opportunities necessary to succeed.

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.