ALBANY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the launch of the second round of the $175 million Workforce Development Initiative on Wednesday, July 28.
This second round of funding makes $48 million available to support strategic regional efforts that help New Yorkers find quality, well-paid jobs and 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.
In this second call for applications, the Workforce Development Initiative will bring together the resources, plans, and perspectives of multiple state agencies and authorities, the Regional Economic Development Councils, nonprofit training providers and private sector employers to further New York’s goal to Reimagine, Rebuild, and Renew from the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Applications for the initiative opened on Monday, Aug. 2.
“Economic development isn’t about making the rich richer—it’s about ensuring everyone has the opportunity to get a piece of the pie,” Cuomo said. “During a time when our economy has struggled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s even more critical that we build a skilled and capable workforce, and that’s exactly what this $175 million initiative does. The second round of the state’s Workforce Development Initiative will leverage our resources to educate and train New Yorkers to both support their families and succeed in their professional lives.”
The funding made available for this initiative consolidates multiple programs administered by various state agencies and authorities.
“The economic impact of COVID-19 has completely upended the traditional workplace, and we are committed to helping New Yorkers get the skills and experience needed for the jobs of tomorrow,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, chair of the statewide Regional Economic Development Councils. “Our Workforce Development Initiative will continue to keep New Yorkers ahead of the job curve and create a more inclusive post-pandemic future where success is accessible to all.”
Applications that are targeted to the zones designated under Governor Cuomo’s Gun Violence Prevention Initiative and that incorporate strategies designed to engage young at-risk New Yorkers in these areas with opportunities to cultivate skills in high-demand, good-paying jobs will be awarded additional points in agency scoring.
Funding and incentives provided by the New York State Department of Labor, the State University of New York, the City University of New York, Empire State Development and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority will support critical job training and employment opportunities in high-demand industries for nearly 22,000 New Yorkers across the State.
Awards will fall into one of three including programs that expand the infrastructure and capacity of SUNY and CUNY to produce skilled talent, programs that expand employer investment in a skilled workforce pipeline, and programs that provide flexible funding for innovative workforce development projects.
All projects and activities must be consistent with the region’s workforce development plans. More information about the Workforce Development Initiative can be found at workforcedevelopment.ny.gov.
In the first round of funding, over $70 million was awarded to 225 organizations to support regionally significant industries in emerging fields with growing demands for jobs—including clean energy, life sciences, computer science, and advanced technologies—as well as efforts to improve the economic security of women, young workers, and other populations that face significant barriers to career advancement.