January 9, 2024
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Announces Plan to Grow and Strengthen New York’s Economy

Governor Hochul Announces Plan to Grow and Strengthen New York’s Economy

State of the State Proposal Builds on Governor’s Vision of a Modern, 21st Century Economy Fueled by Innovative, Next-Generation Businesses and High-Skilled Workers Ready to Meet Their Needs

Expansion of Workforce Developments Efforts Will Establish Four New Advanced Manufacturing Training Centers in Upstate New York

$100 Million Expansion of Fast NY Business Attraction Program to Prepare Sites for Shovel Readiness

Expansion of Teacher Ambassador and Registered Apprenticeships Programs Will Strengthen New York’s Talent Pipeline

New Package to Support Immigrant Entrepreneurs Will Drive Innovation at Research Universities and Create Resource for Foreign-Born Business Owners

Governor Will Also Seek Stronger Wage Theft Protections and Establish a Youth Workers’ Bill of Rights to Protect New York Workers

New Statewide Offices Will Help Monitor Workforce Development Outcomes and Help Businesses Navigate State Environmental Regulations

Initiatives to Rebuild State Workforce Would Remove Educational Barriers for Certain Titles and Expand NY HELPS Program to Fast-Track State Hiring

Launches New Round of Restore NY Funding Opportunity to Turn Blighted Properties into Economically Viable Sites

New Public Art Initiatives and Enhanced Capital Funding Will Strengthen Arts and Cultural Sector

Traducción al español

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced her plan to grow and strengthen New York’s economy as part of her 2024 State of the State Address. The Governor’s plan builds on her vision for a modern, 21st century economy fueled by innovative, next-generation businesses and high-skilled workers ready to meet their needs. It includes catalytic investments to create strong, vibrant business districts statewide; a multi-pronged proposal to open pathways to business ownership for immigrant entrepreneurs; new workforce development efforts to prepare workers for the needs of a 21st century economy; and a $100 million expansion of the state’s FAST NY business attraction program. The Governor also announced expansions of the Teacher Ambassador and Registered Apprenticeship programs; new statewide offices to monitor workforce development outcomes and help small businesses navigate environmental regulations; and a package of initiatives to rebuild the state’s public workforce.

“Our community investments, business development programs, and workforce initiatives are all geared toward making sure that our state continues to be a place where workers and families can achieve their New York Dream,” Governor Hochul said. “Through commitments to revitalizing our business districts, driving innovation, strengthening worker protections, and preparing our communities for the jobs and careers of the future, my administration is continuing its work to build a 21st century economy in the Empire State.”

Preparing New Yorkers for the Jobs of Tomorrow

Governor Hochul will build on her commitment to preparing New Yorkers for the jobs of tomorrow with the creation of One Network for Regional Advanced Manufacturing Partnerships (ON-RAMP) – a network of four new workforce development centers in strategic, high-impact locations in upstate New York, including a flagship facility in Syracuse overseen by CenterState CEO. As the state continues to attract 21st century businesses in fast-growing industries like semiconductor manufacturing, ON-RAMP Centers will offer credentials and training related to advanced manufacturing and focus on providing opportunities for disadvantaged populations. The program will focus on Upstate New York, particularly the Capital Region and the I-90 corridor encompassing Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse, which was recently designated a federal Tech Hub.

Expanding Business Attraction Efforts Through FAST NY

Governor Hochul has proposed a $100 million expansion of the Focused Attraction of Shovel-Ready Tracts New York program, New York’s premier initiative to prepare sites across the state for shovel readiness. Launched in December 2022, FAST NY has awarded nearly $130 million to develop more than 13 sites. As manufacturers and supply-chain partners are reshoring operations to the United States in record numbers, expanding FAST NY will help to maintain New York’s advantage in the national competition for high-impact job creation projects.

Building New York’s Talent Pipeline

Governor Hochul announced a proposal to expand apprenticeships in New York that would establish a Youth Apprenticeship model, developed by DOL and SED, and a Registered Apprenticeship program pilot for State government. Registered Apprenticeship programs are highly effective training models that serve as proven pathways to good paying job opportunities in myriad industries, allowing apprentices to have a job from day one and earn while they advance through their training and career. New York runs many successful Registered Apprenticeship programs, but few specifically for youth and none for state public service workers.

The Governor has also proposed expanding the Teacher Ambassador Program to bolster curricula in New York’s schools, which play a critical role in state workforce development efforts. The program consists of a four-week paid summer intensive training program that prepares teachers, certified work-based learning coordinators, and school counselors to develop career-readiness strategies for students. With this expansion, the program will be able to double its capacity and give even more teachers the skills they need to build the workforce of the future.

Supporting Immigrant Entrepreneurs

Governor Hochul has proposed a multipronged plan to support immigrant entrepreneurs and create pathways to business ownership for foreign-born New Yorkers. The plan includes a program which will provide an opportunity for international entrepreneurs to obtain university-sponsored visas, collaborate with universities to drive innovation, and develop startup companies or early-stage ventures in New York. In addition to helping entrepreneurs obtain visas, the program would provide competitive grants to up to eight research universities and colleges to operate the program.

The Governor will create a virtual Immigrant Entrepreneur Center, which would serve as a centralize resource for important information and services relevant to immigrant entrepreneurs. The center would direct users to resources such as ESD’s capital access, technical assistance, and regulatory relief programs; the Office for New Americans naturalization, legal consultation, English language, digital literacy, and workforce development services; SUNY’s entrepreneurship, academic, workforce development, and civic engagement programs; and DOL’s Business Express platform.

Strengthening Labor Protections

As part of Governor Hochul’s ongoing commitment to supporting New York workers, the Governor has laid out several proposals to strengthen labor protections. The Governor has proposed a measure to strengthen wage theft protections in New York by granting levy powers for the New York State Department of Labor’s Worker Protection Unit, which investigates wage theft across New York State. These additional powers would help investigators return stolen wages to workers’ hands by allowing them to seize the assets of the most egregious actors.

Governor Hochul will also direct DOL to publish and distribute a Youth Workers Bill of Rights amid a disturbing uptick in child labor complaints. DOL will provide information to be included on employment certificates, direct employers to education information on child labor, and distribute resources for schools to educate students on what laws are in place to protect youth workers as they enter the workforce.

New Statewide Offices to Help Small Businesses Navigate Environmental Regulations and Track Workforce Data

New York is committed to environmental sustainability with a nation-leading climate action plan and strong commitments to renewable energy, clean air and water, and environmental justice. While existing State and federal regulations are in place to ensure a clean, safe, and sustainable environment, small business owners often experience challenges with interpreting and implementing certain requirements. Governor Hochul will create a Small Business Environmental Support Office within Empire State Development to assist small businesses in better navigating existing regulations and take advantage of available resources.

The Governor has also proposed the creation of a statewide Office of Workforce Data and Research to monitor, measure, and comprehensively connect for the first time, data from educational institutions, employers, and workforce development programs. The Office, which would combine efforts from DOL, SED, SUNY, and CUNY, would link data from these entities to track and ensure program effectiveness, identify where individuals need additional supports, ensure better quality and consistency across various partners, and make the collective New York State talent development ecosystem more effective and accountable.

Rebuilding New York’s Public Workforce

Between 2013 and 2023, New York’s public sector workforce decreased by 10 percent, leaving vacancies in thousands of positions responsible for providing critical services to New York State residents. Governor Hochul is continuing to push forward on an agenda to rebuild and retain the state’s public workforce.

The Governor will direct the Department of Civil Service to review college degree requirements for hundreds of civil service titles and consider equivalent experience, where appropriate, removing educational barriers for approximately 1,000 titles. Public and private sector employers – including the federal government and state governments in New Jersey, Maryland, and Pennsylvania – are resetting degree requirements as part of a growing recognition of the value of work and life experience and that reassessing degree requirements can create a more robust and more diverse talent pool.

In addition, the Governor will direct the Department of Civil Service to pursue an expanded New York Hiring for Emergency Limited Placement Statewide program, to assist agencies in better filling vacancies open to the public so that the state can better meet the needs of New Yorkers. Since its inception in 2023, more than 6,500 New Yorkers have been hired into the existing HELP program, allowing the state and local governments to quickly fill critical health and human services roles.

These proposals build on the Governor’s commitment to modernizing New York’s public workforce including actions resulting from her 2023 State of State proposals to waive civil service exam fees from July 2023 to December 2025; expand the 55-B program to create hiring opportunities for New Yorkers with disabilities; and advance a nation-leading expansion of paid parental leave covering more than 150,000 state employees.

Building Strong, Vibrant Business Districts, Including Through Arts and Culture

Removing blight is transformational for communities, but municipalities often lack the resources to undertake such projects on their own. The Restore NY program, for which Governor Hochul invested $50 million in last year’s budget, has served as a catalyst for neighborhood revitalization and business attraction in communities across the State. In 2024, Governor Hochul will launch another round of Restore NY, a new competitive funding round will support projects that turn vacant, abandoned, and condemned properties into viable sites that advance key goals including downtown redevelopment, waterfront planning and resiliency, and housing production.

New York’s creative sector is also a key driver of economic growth that employs hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers and generates billions of dollars in economic impact through tourism. This year, Governor Hochul will continue to invest in the State’s dynamic arts and cultural sector with $50 million in new capital funding to allow the New York State Council on the Arts to offer an additional round of grants for projects of all sizes, ranging from $50,000 to $10 million. Governor Hochul will also launch Arts Pluribus Unum, an investment in public art that supports the creative placemaking underway in communities across the State – accelerating local revitalization efforts through public art and cultural programming, empowering artists to take center stage in the State’s continued economic growth, and inviting tourists from across the country and globe to experience New York’s artistic renaissance.

Contact the Governor’s Press Office

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Albany: (518) 474-8418
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