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$9.5 million awarded as part of New York's historic Workforce Development Initiative

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Tue, Mar 2nd 2021 04:45 pm

75 businesses, schools & community-based organizations to receive funding for workforce development

Awards will fund in-demand skills training for nearly 5,000 New Yorkers

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday announced 75 businesses, schools and community-based organizations across the state have been awarded nearly $9.5 million as part of the state's historic Workforce Development Initiative. Funding and incentives provided by Department of Labor, Empire State Development and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority will support job training and employment opportunities in high-demand industries for nearly 5,000 New Yorkers across the state.

"When the COVID-19 crisis hit and New York's economy took a turn for the worse, the state's Workforce Development Initiative became even more vital to our longtime goal of making sure everyone, regardless of background, has access to a good job," Cuomo said. "We're providing greater economic opportunity to New Yorkers and addressing the business needs of companies committed to growing here, and these awards will help companies across the state train workers in marketable skills that they can use to get good jobs and help move New York's economy forward."

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul added, "The economic impact of COVID-19 has completely upended the traditional workplace, and we need a job training strategy that reflects the changing environment. As chair of New York State's Regional Economic Development Councils, I am proud that our Workforce Development Initiative will continue to keep our state ahead of the curve and create a more inclusive post-pandemic future where opportunity is accessible to all New Yorkers."

New York's Regional Economic Development Councils have a key role in recommending applications for funding, based on regional economic needs and opportunities.

Western New York businesses and organizations receiving workforce development awards are Catholic Charities of Buffalo, Fresenius Kabi and Mercy Flight.

Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President and CEO-designate Eric Gertler said, "As we move toward a post-pandemic economy, ESD is proud to join other state agencies in continuing to support Gov. Cuomo's historic workforce development initiative. Guided by our Regional Economic Development Councils, this funding helps to prepare New Yorkers for new job opportunities and strategically develops talent pipelines to meet our business and industry needs."

New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, "Gov. Cuomo's continued support of the Workforce Development Initiative is more critical than ever as we work to meet the regional needs of our communities in the midst of the changing workforce created by this pandemic. Workplace development is going to remain key in getting New Yorkers back to work by ensuring they are trained and ready to meet these needs."

NYSERDA Acting President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, "As New York continues to advance Gov. Cuomo's bold green energy goals, strategic investment in workforce development and training is essential for attracting workers to the clean energy industry, and preparing new and existing clean energy employees for rewarding, and well-paying jobs. In recent years, New York's clean energy employment grew at a rate close to three times the national clean energy job growth, and upskilling the existing workforce while creating a pipeline of new talent for future green job opportunities is key to New York's success as we transition to a carbon neutral economy."

SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras said, "SUNY's unwavering mission is to continue to uncover resources and build partnerships that invest in our workforce and job training needs of the future. We are proud to support this program and its commitment to provide additional funding for our students and more New Yorkers. And, I am thankful for the ongoing partnership of the Department of Labor, Empire State Development, and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, and the dedication they collectively share to the workforce development needs of our campuses."

As New York continues to move 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 its Jobs Express website at jobs.ny.gov. There are over 133,000 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.

Since the first announcement of WDI awards in September 2019, nearly $32 million in awards have been announced to 278 projects benefitting more than 18,000 New York workers. More information about the Workforce Development Initiative and the awards announced to date can be found at workforcedevelopment.ny.gov.

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