From July 2023 to End of December 2025, New York State Will Waive Civil Service Exam Fees to Promote Equitable Access to Careers in State Government
Civil Service Exams To Be Offered On a More Frequent Basis and Provide Applicants With Maximum Flexibility
Twelve State-Operated Testing Centers to be Established Across State to Make State Civil Service Exams More Accessible for All Jobseekers
Includes Expansion of 55-B Hiring Program to Expand Job Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities
Builds on Governor's State of the State Commitments to Rebuilding Public Workforce and Helping Government Work Better for All New Yorkers
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced several actions to modernize New York's public workforce and streamline government operations as part of the historic FY 2024 Budget. The actions include eliminating civil service application fees for state exams; offering civil service exams on an ongoing basis; and expanding the state's existing 55-B hiring program to increase job opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Together, these actions reaffirm the Governor's commitment to making government work better for New Yorkers.
"Since my early days as Erie County Clerk, I have been committed to cutting red tape and removing bureaucratic hurdles in government," Governor Hochul said. "From promoting equal access to civil service careers to expanding job opportunities for individuals with disabilities, the FY 2024 Budget includes transformative actions that will modernize the State workforce and make government work better for all New Yorkers."
As part of Governor Hochul’s ongoing commitment to rebuilding the state’s workforce, the FY 2024 Budget will facilitate a hybrid workplace future through a new study and pilot program. With the increasing number of State workers who telecommute, New York State’s office spaces must be modernized to meet the needs of a more flexible workforce and enable a “work-anywhere” approach for State employees. Building spaces that work better for State employees, increasing flexibility, and ensuring the efficient utilization of existing State offices enables OGS to be a better steward of state assets while allowing the workers to focus on outcomes, supporting customers and clients, and improving service delivery.
In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, New York State has faced substantial hiring challenges, with the state government workforce facing a shortage of approximately 14,000 employees according to state data. The FY 2024 Budget includes several provisions, first announced in the Governor's 2023 State of the State address, to attract and retain top talent and increase the diversity of the public workforce to better reflect New York State.
Make Civil Service Exams More Accessible
The FY 2024 Budget will allow for civil service exams to be offered on an ongoing basis to provide candidates with more opportunities to take tests - a change that will also benefit state agencies and local governments. Currently, exams are typically held on an irregular basis, and if a candidate misses the exam on a given date, they are not able to take the exam until it is offered again. By offering exams more frequently under a modern and efficient exam process, state agencies and local governments will have a more sizable pool of qualified candidates to fill crucial public-sector roles. Exams will also be offered in a variety of formats, including online exams as well as in-person exams to be held at 12 newly established state-operated computer-based testing centers for state civil service exams.
Remove Civil Service Exam Fees
Civil service exam fees can serve as a substantial barrier to entering public service, particularly for candidates from traditionally marginalized communities. While fee waivers currently exist for veterans, as well as individuals that are unemployed or receiving public assistance, the majority of test-takers must pay an exam fee. The Budget will support the waiving of exam fees, beginning in July 2023 and ending in December 2025, to remove this barrier for entry for individuals taking state civil service exams.
Increase Job Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities
The FY 2024 Budget strengthens the 55-B specialized hiring program to increase job opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Under the plan, New York State will increase the number of state positions hired through this program to open career pathways for individuals with disabilities. The growth of this program will create more opportunities for meaningful employment in New York State government among this historically underrepresented group.
Modernizing New York State Procurement
As part of Governor Hochul's ongoing commitment to streamlining government processes, the FY 2024 Budget formalizes the Governor's eProcurement initiative to make centralized contracting through the New York State Office of General Services simpler, more modern, and more accessible. The Budget allows for the creation of electronic bidding, which will make it easier for New Yorkers to do business with New York State agencies, local governments, and nonprofit entities. Through eProcurement, the State will also increase transparency, lower barriers to participation (particularly for minority- and women-owned businesses), improve the buyer experience, and allow for data-informed decision-making to better meet the needs of New Yorkers.
Governor Hochul's 2023 State of the State Address
The FY 2024 Budget builds on several initiatives announced in Governor Hochul's 2023 State of the State address to strengthen the public workforce and government operations. The Governor previously announced the creation of Civil Service Specialist positions at Department of Labor Career Centers to serve as liaisons between jobseekers and the Department of Civil Service, as well as other state agencies, to help candidates better navigate the Civil Service Merit System and provide them with greater support in navigating available job opportunities across state government. The Governor also announced a multi-faceted marketing campaign to raise awareness of the many diverse career paths available across public service and the unique benefits of employment with New York State.
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