Governor Hochul recently announced a $350 million investment in workforce development across New York State, creating the Office of Strategic Workforce Development to apply a new approach to workforce development – one that engages local experts to identify growing industries in need of workers, with a focus on creating opportunities for all New Yorkers. This funding will support wide-reaching investment in workforce development across state agencies and includes $150 million in new multi-year funding for new grant programs that will primarily support employer-driven, high skilled workforce training programs.
The Office of Strategic Workforce Development (OSWD), housed within Empire State Development, will focus on both employer needs and supporting meaningful career pathways for workers. New Yorkers continue to struggle to find work and opportunity due to the economic disruption of the pandemic. In coordination with state partners and regional experts, OSWD will ensure that New Yorkers have access to the quality training they need to truly meet business needs and succeed in the economy. OSWD will identify industries poised for growth and work to develop the capacity of training programs to ensure they can prepare workers with skills for dynamic career pathways in high-growth sectors.
Through OSWD, New York will address the gap between available jobs and skilled workers head on, creating a skilled workforce vital to economic development, as businesses seek to locate in places with skilled talent.
Multi-year funding for OSWD includes $115 million for flexible operating funds and performance-based grants for workforce training providers, and $35 million for capital grants to help providers to enhance their facilities and programming.
New York’s investment in workforce development will foster collaboration among state agency partners, as well as with industry, employers, institutions of higher education, and workforce trainers. This new, holistic approach to workforce development will help New York achieve key programmatic goals, including:
The $350M investment in workforce development provides funding for additional programs across four focus areas. Visit the pages below to learn more about current and upcoming opportunities.
New York seeks to empower all residents to contribute their strengths and develop the skills needed to succeed in one’s desired career. Expanding funding for training programs will help make New York State a model for the employment of workers with disabilities.
New York State seeks to rebuild its teacher workforce – including through recruiting and retaining teachers throughout the state to resolve the ongoing teacher shortage. Programs will provide incentives for teachers, accelerate the state certification process, address student needs and create a robust pipeline of future educators to ensure a shortage never again threatens the opportunities for families and children.
Through Apprenticeship and Internship programs, students from CUNY and SUNY schools are able to apply their classroom learnings in hands-on and real-world settings – a strategy which promotes student success outcomes. SUNY and CUNY will also expand their offerings in mental health training programs to increase the number of trained professions and better meet the demand of New Yorkers.
All New Yorkers should have access to safe, affordable and high-quality health care. The COVID-19 pandemic taxed an already strained health care system, exacerbating disparities and systemic health care delivery issues, as essential health workers heroically forged against the surges to care for New Yorkers. New programs and funding will strengthen the pipeline of diverse medical professionals and support individuals looking to enter and grow in the health care and direct care fields.
See the list of projects funded under the previous Workforce Development Initiative.