$9 million awarded as part of New York’s Historic Workforce Development Initiative

Mon, Sep 14th 2020 03:05 pm

66 New York state businesses, community colleges, and community-based organizations receive funding for workforce development

Awards will fund in-demand skills training for 3,600 New Yorkers

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday announced 66 businesses, schools and community-based organizations across the state were awarded nearly $9 million as part of the state’s historic Workforce Development Initiative. The grants are federally funded and will support job training opportunities across the state for more than 3,600 New Yorkers adapting to the post-COVID economy.

“On behalf of all New Yorkers, I thank the essential workers who put themselves in harm’s way to save lives and care for their fellow New Yorkers, and recommit to supporting all workers who are helping in New York’s ongoing recovery,” Cuomo said. “These awards will provide thousands of workers with the training and skills they need to ‘Build Back Better.’ “

“Our historic Workforce Development Initiative is helping to meet businesses’ short-term needs, improve regional talent pipelines, and address long-term job training needs of growing industries,” said Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, chairwoman of the statewide Regional Economic Development Councils. “This $9 million in awards will provide 66 businesses, colleges and organizations with funding for training for more than 3,600 New Yorkers. Job training is critical now more than ever to help provide thousands of New Yorkers with the skills they need to ‘Build Back Better’ and seek new jobs and opportunities in the post-pandemic future.”

A press release said, “As New York has moved forward through the reopening process, the New York State Department of Labor has been working to connect every job seeker in New York with the right job opportunity. DOL has been encouraging both businesses in need of workers, and New Yorkers in need of a job, to take advantage of their Jobs Express website at jobs.ny.gov. There are over 100,000 job openings across the state from businesses looking to hire immediately. These workforce development grants will help provide workers training who want to gain the skills for new, fulfilling jobs.”

New York’s Regional Economic Development Councils have a key role in recommending applications for funding, based on regional economic needs and opportunities. Businesses and organizations from nine REDC regions receiving Workforce Development awards include:

•Western New York: Assembly House 150, Buffalo Center for Arts and Technology, Erie 1 BOCES, Mercy Flight, Northland Workforce Training Center, Pfannenberg and St. Bonaventure University.

Empire State Development Acting Commissioner, President and CEO-designate Eric Gertler said, “As our economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, programs that help workers develop skills in high demand from businesses is a win-win for New York’s companies and its workforce. Gov. Cuomo’s historic workforce development initiative is a critically needed investment in our state’s greatest resource – New Yorkers – and creates the talent pipeline needed to help New York build back better.”

Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, “As we build back stronger from the unprecedented impacts that COVID-19 has had on our workforce, developing a strong workforce pipeline is more critical than ever. I applaud Gov. Cuomo’s support of this initiative, because these partnerships and the creation of meaningful training programs are going to be the key to connecting New Yorkers with the jobs that are available and the jobs that are going to continue moving New York forward.”

Cuomo announced a statewide investment for the Workforce Development Initiative in May 2019 to support strategic regional efforts that meet businesses’ short-term workforce needs, improve regional talent pipelines, enhance the flexibility and adaptability of local workforce entities, expand apprenticeships and address the long-term needs of growing industries. These funds will also support efforts to improve the economic security of women, youth and other groups facing significant barriers to career advancement. In light of the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency and its economic impacts, these funds will support businesses, communities, and workers across New York in their recovery.

In September 2019, more than $3 million in Workforce Development Initiative funds were awarded to support apprenticeship and workforce development projects at four community colleges. In January, $3.4 million in awards were provided to 61 New York businesses, community colleges and community-based organizations to train 2,464 New Yorkers with in-demand skills. In February, an additional $5.4 million was awarded to train 4,469 New Yorkers.

More information about the Workforce Development Initiative and the awards announced to date can be found at workforcedevelopment.ny.gov.

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