May 17, 2024
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Announces More Than $8.7 Million Awarded Through the Office of Strategic Workforce Development

Governor Hochul Announces More Than $8.7 Million Awarded Through the Office of Strategic Workforce Development

11 Projects Across the State Will Leverage More Than $16.2 Million in Public/Private Funding to Support More Than 1,700 Trainees for Over 60 Business Partners

Launch of Improved Guidelines Will Streamline Awards Process and Scale Best Practices Across the State – Read Guidelines Here and Here

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the New York State Office of Strategic Workforce Development has awarded an additional $8.7 million in grants to 11 projects across the state through the Workforce Development Capital and Pay for Performance Operating Grant Programs. These grants will support the training of almost 1,700 workers through collaboration between training providers and more than 60 employer partners in fields like construction, industrial manufacturing, renewable energy and software engineering. The Office, which operates under Empire State Development, is charged with supporting industry-driven workforce development programs and practices to ensure New Yorkers have the skills to meet the needs of employers in the state's fastest growing industries.

“New York is making sure that the State is well prepared with the talent and workforce of the future,” Governor Hochul said. “This latest round of strategic workforce development grants will continue our mission to ensure that all New Yorkers have the opportunity to gain skills need by top employers, especially those who have been traditionally left behind.”

These fifth and sixth rounds of awards from the Office of Strategic Workforce Development brings the total investments from six rounds to nearly $40 million that will leverage more than $50 million in public and private funding and support 12,000 trainees for over 460 business partners.

The grants awarded to 11 projects today will support employer-driven, high-skilled workforce training programs and reward innovative approaches and best practices that reduce the barriers to participation for high-need communities. The $35 million Workforce Development Capital Grant Program supports the capital needs of workforce training providers that seek to enhance or expand their offerings. The $115 million Pay for Performance (P4P) Operating Grant Program has flexible funding to help providers cover programmatic expenses like curriculum development and wraparound services to prepare New Yorkers with in-demand skills and industry-recognized credentials. These grant programs allow workforce training providers to expand the capacity of successful programs with high placement rates and effective wraparound services.

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “We believe that investing in workforce development is the key to economic development because employers continuously cite a well-trained workforce as one of their top priorities. Our Office of Strategic Workforce Development will continue to invest in high-quality, employer-driven programs that produce top notch talent, which adds to the many attributes New York State has when attracting companies.”

New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, “Through this substantial investment, we are equipping New Yorkers with the skills necessary to thrive in high-demand industries. Governor Hochul’s unwavering support continues to prove essential for creating a robust, inclusive, and forward-looking workforce. By removing barriers and streamlining processes, we are ensuring that our workforce is not only prepared for today's job market but is also poised for future opportunities.”

Awardees:

  • Capital Region BOCES – Capital Region – $3,000,000 (Workforce Development Capital Grant): Capital Region BOCES will use funding to construct an 45,000 square foot expansion of the existing Career and Technical Education Center, increasing capacity by 33% and allowing them to serve an additional 140 students per year for programs such as building trades, electrical trades, HVAC-R, heavy equipment operation, network cabling, wireless technology, and cybersecurity. The CTE Center, developed in 2022 with support from ESD, is supported by more than twenty local industry partnerships, and currently has a wait list for access to its training programs.
  • Eastern NY Laborers – Employers Education and Training Fund – Capital Region – $218,284 (Workforce Development Capital Grant): Eastern NY Laborers (LIUNA Local 157) will create a satellite training center to support the Laborers/Bricklayers’ pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs, as well as short-term continuing education and safety training for Union members. The program has strong community support with both recruitment and support services, with partners providing work appropriate clothing, tools and books, licensing and testing fees, transportation, childcare and more, as well as career services and job placement assistance directly via the Union.
  • Center for Instruction, Technology & Innovation (CiTi) BOCES – Central New York – $743,068 (Workforce Development Capital Grant): CiTi BOCES will expand existing training space and purchase new equipment to create the Manufacturing and Automation Lab, which will house electrical, manufacturing, and robotics training programs for adult and youth learners. The space will also house the new Oswego County Advanced Manufacturing Hub, a platform for local industry partners to train and credential current employees that provides an alternative to sending trainees out of state for industry-recognized training.
  • Central New York Laborers’ Training Fund – Central New York – $564,000 (Workforce Development Capital Grant): The Central New York Laborers Local 633 will construct a new training facility to meet the labor demands for the regional I-81 viaduct and Micron projects. The new facility will increase both the Laborers’ training capacity (from 10 to 50 apprentices at a time), and accessibility (allowing members to train locally rather than traveling to Oswego, and at a location accessible via public transportation). Apprentices earn industry-recognized credentials and union benefits, including on-the-job training, mentorship, ongoing education, healthcare and retirement benefits.
  • Rochester Laborers Training & Apprentice Fund Local 435 – Finger Lakes – $514,665 (Workforce Development Capital Grant): Local 435 will use funding to construct a training center for construction craft laborers, flaggers and photovoltaic instructors in the Rochester area, making training more accessible for apprentices who currently face 2.5-hour travel times to training facilities. They will partner with the Urban League of Rochester to recruit diverse trainees from Monroe and the surrounding nine counties, and to provide access to wraparound services including assistance with GED preparation, obtaining NYS learners permits and drivers licenses, connections to community support services, job readiness training, and acquiring PPE.
  • Orleans County – Finger Lakes – $95,250 (P4P Operating Grant): In response to local industry needs, Orleans County will use funding to expand access to computer numerical control (CNC) machining training for diverse county residents, including young adults not covered by other funding streams. The county will provide wraparound services for trainees, including transportation to sites not on public transportation routes, tools and equipment needed for training, childcare, counseling, and housing assistance as needed, while training partner CNC Technical Solutions will provide credentialed skills training.
  • Nubian Directions II Inc. – Mid-Hudson – $653,265 (P4P Operating Grant): Nubian Directions will develop a new green building technology pre-apprenticeship program focusing on solar power, weatherization, HVAC, and home inspection. The direct-entry program will utilize the nationally recognized industry curriculum, certifications, and credentials. This YouthBuild program features case management and crisis intervention to ensure participants have access to all the supports needed to succeed.
  • Commonpoint Queens – New York City – $711,680 (P4P Operating Grant): Commonpoint Queens, in partnership with training partner Building Skills NY, will expand their Building Trades Vocational Program, which provides training in foundational construction skills and results in seven base industry-recognized credentials plus an additional credential following specialization in either plumbing or electrical work. The program includes case management and services planning, work readiness training and job placement, and a full year of post-placement retention support for trainees.
  • Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow – New York City – $675,450 (P4P Operating Grant): Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow will pilot a new renewable energy and sustainable construction pre-apprenticeship training program, which will provide trainees with the mechanical, technical, electrical, and general construction skills needed for careers in sustainable construction. By providing paid training, transportation assistance and direct entry with union partners, the program will provide a pathway for individuals from underserved NYC communities to access the fast-growing clean energy sector.
  • Rebuilding Together NYC – New York City – $555,000 (P4P Operating Grant): Rebuilding Together will double the training capacity of the six-week Careers in Construction pre-apprenticeship program, which connects young adults from low-income communities of color to union apprenticeships and jobs in the construction industry. The program serves un/underemployed individuals, provides industry-recognized credentials, and job-site experience to prepare participants for union apprenticeships. The program also provides graduates with a stipend and three years of post-completion support, including mentorship and job placement, and has extensive relationships with community partners to provide additional supports as needed.
  • Per Scholas, Inc. – Western New York – $1,000,000 (P4P Operating Grant): Per Scholas will launch a new campus in Buffalo to scale their successful tech training program to Western NY. The program provides free training in Amazon Web Services (AWS) re/start, cybersecurity, IT support, and software engineering as well as robust learner supports, including access to mental health counseling, childcare, emergency food and housing support, and all training expenses. Program graduates receive continued support for two years post-completion and historically earn an average of four times their pre-enrollment wage, post-completion.

Additionally, the Office of Strategic Workforce Development has revamped their guidelines to streamline and hasten the process for qualified applicants. This includes a rolling application process, increased application assistance from Empire State Development and increasing the potential award amounts for Pay for Performance Operating Grants. The new guidelines are available here and here.

State Senator Sean Ryan said, “Investing in technical and career education is a smart and effective way to improve New York's labor force. It also has a better return on investment for our state than just about any other economic development strategy we can employ. The investment we are making in these programs will help address New York's labor shortage, boost our economy, and set the trainees up for successful careers.”

State Senator Jessica Ramos said, "Workforce development initiatives like this set young New Yorkers on the path to safe, dignified, family-sustaining careers. The communities surrounding future program trainees will feel the benefits of these investments come back far beyond the initial $8.7 million invested. New Yorkers have so much innate talent, and today's announcement will help connect that talent to the careers of the future."

Assemblymember Harry Bronson said, “As Chair of the Assembly Labor Committee, I believe that our economic development initiatives must include a corresponding workforce development component. This investment from OSWD in the Rochester Laborers Training & Apprentice Fund Local 435's partnership with Urban League of Rochester will increase opportunities for those who want to earn while they learn on the job. The funding for this new Finger Lakes training center will also increase equity in our workforce by providing young people from underrepresented communities with a pathway for rewarding careers in the skilled trades.”

Assemblymember Albert A. Stirpe, Jr. said, “New York State continues to build its workforce to address changing needs in traditional fields and expanding horizons in evolving industries through the work of the Office of Strategic Workforce Development. Governor Hochul’s announcement demonstrates her commitment to public/private partnerships to optimize training. The two Workforce Development Capital Grants announced for Central New York from these rounds of funding include support for the Central New York Laborers Local 633 program for an apprentice program to ensure New York meets labor demands created from the I-81 and the Micron projects. Manufacturing also received a significant boost through funding for the Center for Instruction, Technology & Innovation (CiTi) BOCES creating two programs: the Oswego County Advanced Manufacturing Hub to keep employee training local and the Manufacturing and Automation Lab focusing on critical electrical, manufacturing, and robotics training programs.”

Contact the Governor’s Press Office

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Albany: (518) 474-8418
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