Workforce Development Initiative

Investing $175 million for workforce development


  • As part of the Workforce Development Initiative, NYSERDA has launched the Career Pathway Training Partnerships program in high efficiency heating, ventilation and air conditioning, and electric heat pump technologies, investing $8.5M in hands-on, entry level, technical training programs to develop a talent pipeline of new workers for the growing number of job opportunities in New York State’s green energy industry. View the full funding opportunity detail here and apply by 3 p.m. EST, December 17, 2020.​
  • The FY2021 Workforce Development Initiative (WDI) program guidelines will be issued at a later date, subject to New York State's ongoing response to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Updates on guideline reissuance will be posted on this page. Questions or comments may be directed to [email protected].
  • As of 4 pm on May 29, 2020, Phase 2 submissions under FY2020 WDI Program Guidelines are no longer accepted. Review of complete applications is ongoing. As of 4 pm on April 30, 2020, new Phase 1 applications under FY2020 WDI Program Guidelines are no longer accepted. 
  • To date, more than 50% of maximum available funds have been awarded for the following WDI programs:
    • CFA Program 436, NYS Department of Labor Unemployed/Underemployed Worker Training


Governor Cuomo’s Workforce Development Initiative (WDI) is investing $175 million for job training projects. Awarded projects under the new WDI Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) will support strategic regional efforts that meet businesses’ short-term workforce needs, long-term industry needs, improve regional talent pipelines, enhance the flexibility and adaptability of local workforce entities, and expand workplace learning opportunities. Project plans and applications will be accepted on a continual basis as long as funds are available.

To receive funding, projects go through a two-phase approval process:

Phase One: Applicants submit a project plan through the CFA portal. Project plans are reviewed by the Regional Economic Development Councils (REDC) Workforce Development Committee to ensure that the project plan is feasible, stakeholders are aligned, funding is identified/available and the project conforms to the workforce plans for the region. Funding agencies and the Office of Workforce Development will review each application to ensure eligibility for one or more funding streams available under the WDI CFA.

Phase Two: Applicants that advance to the second phase must submit a more detailed application, which will be reviewed by a team convened by the Office of Workforce Development and include representatives from Empire State Development (ESD), New York State Department of Labor, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), SUNY, and CUNY.


Project plans and applications are now being accepted.

Key Documents

Download the Guidebook and Workforce CFA Program Guidelines to learn more about the initiative and application process.

  • Workforce Development Initiative Guidebook


  • Office of Workforce Development

    Program Guidelines


View WDI Webinars to learn more about available funding streams, including allowable costs, activities, and outcomes.

Regional Workforce Strategies

A Workforce Development Committee will be created in every region comprised of workforce development experts.

Project Process

Applications for WDI support will go through a two-stage approval process to streamline the allocation of funding, and quickly identify the appropriate funding options.

Workforce Development Initiative Eligibility

In recognition of the varied workforce development challenges faced across the state, a range of projects will be eligible for funding under the Workforce Development Initiative.

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