Gary LaBarbera, president,  Building & Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, is one of fifteen members that Gov. Andrew Cuomo named on May 3 to his recently created New York Works Task Force.

The task force, created under the governor’s 2012-13 budget to “change the way state agencies spend billions in taxpayer and commuter funds each year,” will have $750 million available under the Regional Economic Development Councils’ second round funding. The funding is aimed at supporting economic development, strategic plan implementation and job creation across the state. This round of funding consists of $220 million for regional strategic plans and support of priority projects and up to $530 million from state agency programs including Empire State Development, NYS Canal Corporation, and NYS Energy Research and Development Authority, to support regionally-specific economic development projects.

Construction on the first wave of projects funded by the governor’s budget are scheduled to begin this summer. These include resurfacing the entrance roads at Grafton Lake State Park; repairing the vent and weir structures at the Old Croton Aqueduct; repairing the estate wall at Mills-Norrie State Park; and constructing a bridge over Willow Creek for the Black Diamond Trail in Ithaca.

The second wave includes seven contracts consisting of 97 highway and bridge projects—representing more than $131 million in construction work across the state—that were open to bidding during this past week. The Dept. of Transportation will continue to open contract bids for NY Works programs during the next few months, says the governor’s office.

Other officials named to the Task Force are: Denis M. Hughes, former president, NYS AFL-CIO; Felix G. Rohatyn, former chairman, Municipal Assistance Corp.; Mayor Byron Brown, Buffalo, N.Y.; Mike Fishman, president, SEIU Local 32BJ; Peter Goldmark, program director, Climate and Air, Environmental Defense Fund; Carol Kellermann, president, Citizens Budget Commission; Mayor Stephanie Miner, Syracuse, N.Y.; Robert Yaro, president, Regional Plan Association; John D. Cameron Jr., chairman, Long Island Regional Planning Council; Robert F. Mujica Jr., chief of staff to the NYS senate majority and secretary to the NYS senate finance committee; Ron Canestrari, majority leader, New York State Assembly; Herman D. “Denny” Farrell Jr., chairman, New York State Assembly Ways & Means Committee; and Margaret Tobin, executive director, New York Works Task Force.