PATERSON, NJ – Mayor Andre Sayegh today appointed Mike Powell as the city’s economic development director for the new city administration.

“Just as Alexander Hamilton looked to the Great Falls and saw the future of our nation, we look to the Great Falls and all of Paterson’s resources and see the prosperous future of our great city,” said Sayegh. “Michael’s role as economic development director will be to develop strategies to make our vision of economic prosperity a reality. Michael’s many years of working in Paterson as well as his expertise make him the perfect professional to fulfil this critical role, especially as we look to leverage tax credits from the State of New Jersey to spur development.”

“I’m very excited to be working with Mayor Sayegh and the rest of his administration in tapping the economic power of Paterson,” said Powell. “This truly is Paterson’s time to emerge as a destination for people to visit, for businesses to grow, and to stimulate investment throughout the city. More importantly, this is also a moment to lift up residents and target those typically left on the margins for new forms of employment and economic opportunity. I’m grateful to the mayor for this chance to help forge a new economically-empowered Paterson.”

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Powell will leave his current position as the executive director of Passaic County Community College’s Center for Continuing Education and Workforce Development, where he has managed a staff of 70 people and a budget of more than $10 million. Among Powell’s accomplishments in this position is his securing and managing the largest federal grant in the college’s history: a $23 million U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) grant for a four-state, seven-college regional consortium called the “Northeast Resiliency Consortium.” This grant allowed for the training of more than 3,400 people to help students, communities and institutions build resiliency against crises.

While he was vice-president of the N.J. Community Development Corporation (NJCDC), Powell played a front-line role in neighborhood revitalization efforts in the area surrounding the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park. He raised more than $2 million in private investment from a number of Fortune 500 companies, helped develop 100 units of affordable housing, and launched the Great Falls Youth Program, which provided jobs to Paterson’s young people in helping to maintain the national park. 

Powell holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Ithaca College in Clinical Sociology and Political Science, and a Master in Regional Planning Degree from Cornell University. He lives in Montclair with his wife, Kristen Gilmore Powell and their dog, Daisy