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Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul. Photo by Julianne Mosher

As Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) packed up his moving trucks at the governor’s mansion, the soon-to-be state leader headed to Long Island last week for a quick appearance and chat with local reporters.

Before she became New York’s 57th and first female governor, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) made a quick stop in Hauppauge for a roundtable discussion on Friday, Aug. 20, with local labor leaders where topics included job training, green jobs and new legislative efforts to support essential workers.

Although the discussion was closed to media, Hochul stopped for a small press conference to quickly discuss her intentions during the meeting.

“One of my first priorities is continue creating good jobs,” she said. “Getting the offshore wind institute off the ground and give opportunities to just really train people in the underserved communities and the jobs of tomorrow where there will be tens of thousands of jobs in that space.”

Hochul said she and the business leaders in attendance also talked about workforce development and creating opportunities to keep young people fully employed on Long Island.

The visit wasn’t anything new, she said, mentioning that over the last seven years “coming out and seeing the people is what I do.”

“If you ask anyone, I’ve been told that Nassau and Suffolk counties are planning on taxing me as a local resident because I’m here so often,” she joked.

As chair of the Regional Economic Development Councils, she said that she is going to continue and be accessible throughout her term.

“I’m going to continue showing appreciation to the labor community, the job creators, the business community and elected officials,” she said. “I have a deep appreciation for all the various roles of government, and I want them to know that they have a governor who recognizes and appreciates that.”

Hochul officially took on her new role early Tuesday, Aug. 24, moving into the governor’s mansion in Albany.

“I haven’t thought about getting a U-Haul,” she joked to reporters on Friday. “I was just going to pack an overnight bag and see what happens. I’ll then keep our residence in Buffalo, as well. It’s going to be very fluid.”

During the event, reporters urged Hochul to announce what her plans were surrounding mask mandates. At the time she said she couldn’t release an official statement until she took office but hinted that “people should be ready.”

As expected, she said during her first press conference as governor that New York will require schools across the state to mandate mask wearing for students. Faculty and staff must be vaccinated or tested weekly, as of press time Wednesday, Aug. 25.