Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the New York State Office of Strategic Workforce Development has awarded more than $6 million in grants to eight projects across the state through the first round of the Capital and Pay for Performance Grant Programs. These grants will support the training of nearly 3,000 workers through collaboration between training providers and more than 100 employer partners in fields like advanced manufacturing, information technology, and film and television. The Office, which operates under Empire State Development, is charged with supporting workforce development programs and practices to ensure New Yorkers are prepared to meet the needs and priorities of today’s employers.
“New York State is making bold, strategic investments in our economy that are attracting and growing companies in New York, and we are laser-focused on ensuring that we have ready and able workers to fill these jobs of the future,” Governor Hochul said. “Our new Office of Strategic Workforce Development will help reduce barriers to training and employment while supporting businesses with their workforce needs. This funding is just the beginning of our investment in developing a strong and diverse workforce for decades to come.”
Governor Hochul first proposed the new Office of Strategic Workforce Development in her State of the State address and established the office in April 2022 to better meet the needs of industry and create career opportunities for New Yorkers.
The grants awarded to eight 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 Capital Grant Program will support the capital needs of workforce training providers that seek to enhance or expand their offerings. The $115 million Pay for Performance Grant Program has two funding tracks:
- Flexible Operating Grants that help providers cover programmatic expenses like curriculum development and wraparound services to prepare New Yorkers with in-demand skills and industry-recognized credentials.
- Capacity-Building Awards, a data- and metrics-driven approach to scale up proven workforce training programs actively placing graduates in good jobs. Using achievement-based awards, workforce training providers will receive funding to expand the capacity of successful programs with high placement rates.
Round One Awardees:
Pay for Performance (P4P) Operating Grant Awardees:
- Buffalo Niagara Partnership (Western New York) – $1 Million: This program will provide pre-employment and occupational skills training for manufacturing and other employer-led collaboratives through the Employ Buffalo Niagara Talent Pipeline Management Program. Industry partners include SoPark, Zehnder Rittling, Cobey, Inc., National Fuel Gas, Independent Health, Univera Healthcare, ABC-Amega, People Inc., Aspire of WNY and Suburban Adult Services, Inc., and more.
- CenterState CEO (Central New York) – $1 Million: This program will help prepare un- and underemployed individuals and people from historically marginalized communities with the skills required to enter more specialized training for advanced manufacturing and IT careers. Industry partners include Raymond, Critical Path Integrators (CPI), Cryomech, Automated Biomass Systems (ABS), Chimera Integrations, and NexGen Power Systems.
- Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) (Finger Lakes) – $999,000: This program will provide training for six programs geared towards critical occupations such as manufacturing technicians, IT support analysts, cyber defense analysts, skilled tradespeople, and building construction managers. It also includes an employer training program to prepare employers to support new workers from historically marginalized communities. RIT is partnering with L3 Harris and will engage up to 20 other regional employers.
- Callahan Management Training Center / The Manufacturers Association of Central New York (MACNY) (Mohawk Valley & Central New York) – $996,378: This program will provide pre-apprenticeship training and wraparound services for women looking to pursue careers in manufacturing. Industry partners include Wolfspeed, F.X. Matt Brewing Co., HEI Precision Machined Parts, KrisTech, and Indium Corporation.
- Reel Stories Teen Filmmaking (New York City) – $453,959: This program will provide film industry training for jobs with local unions including roles such as scenic design, wardrobe, entertainment industry hair and make-up, studio mechanics grip, electric and shop craft, associate producer, associate editor and post production coordination. Industry partners include AMC Networks, The Harbor Picture Company, IATSE Union, Netflix, Paramount, and Warner Brothers.
- Cornell University (Central New York, Finger Lakes, North Country, Southern Tier, and Western New York) – $400,742: This program will provide dairy industry training through a dairy processing bootcamp and an online Dairy Science and Sanitation course. Industry partners include Byrne Dairy, Great Lakes Cheese, Lactalis, Northeast Dairy Foods, Perry’s Ice Cream, and Upstate Niagara Cooperative.
P4P Capacity-Building Award:
- CenterState CEO (Central New York) – $264,000: This capacity-building award will expand the capacity of construction training programs and enhance wraparound services in the union building trades, particularly electricians, plumbers and pipefitters, heating, ventilation and air conditioning/HVAC (for clean room construction). Industry partners include Local 277 (Carpenters), Local 43 (Electrical), Local 60 (Bridge Iron Workers), and Local 158 (Operating Engineers).
Capital Grant Award:
- St. Nicks Alliance (New York City) – $1.25 Million: This capital grant will assist with the relocation of a workforce training center to a new building and fit out new facilities that will host training across banking and financial services, basic tech training, data analytics, IT help desk support, construction, and healthcare. Industry partners include Finishing Trades Institute Apprenticeship Program, Local 78 Union Apprenticeship Program, Liquid Technology, Island Computer Products, JPMorgan Chase Bank, Dime Community Bank, Bank of America, Broadway Builders, Two Trees, Mega Contracting Group, Conrock Construction and the Metro Group.
The Office is actively accepting applications for both the Capital and Pay for Performance Grant Programs and will continue to make awards on a rolling basis. Applicants can apply through the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA), and program guidelines and deadlines can be found on the ESD website at https://esd.ny.gov/workforce.
The creation of the Office of Strategic Workforce Development represents a decisive change in New York State’s workforce development strategy to one that is laser-focused on supporting the labor needs of the state’s highest-growth sectors while producing new economic opportunity for un/underemployed and underrepresented workers. The Office will leverage ESD’s relationships with employers throughout the state and its standing as a trusted partner in the business community to help identify employer needs early and train New Yorkers to meet those needs. Additionally, the Office will also establish and maintain metrics for tracking the implementation and success of each of these programs.
Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “Governor Hochul is delivering on her commitment to strengthen the skills and talents of New York’s workforce and help grow the economy. These grants will support wide-reaching, coordinated investments in workforce development that support employer-driven, high skilled workforce training programs.”
New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, “By investing in workforce development, we are ensuring that New Yorkers will be successful in careers across the economic spectrum. I thank Governor Hochul for continuing to be a strong, tireless advocate for economic opportunity.”
SUNY Interim Chancellor Deborah F. Stanley said, “Governor Hochul has shown an unwavering commitment to prepare the workforce of the future. These strategic investments will create rewarding careers for SUNY students, keep talented graduates here in the Empire State, and continue to revitalize regional economies. From agriculture to financial services to our emerging semiconductor industry, we’re cementing key partnerships and investing in opportunity. At SUNY, we are proud to be a partner with the Governor and her team, Empire State Development, and the Department of Labor to ensure SUNY is properly preparing students to meet the demands of today’s and tomorrow’s employers.”
State Senator Anna M. Kaplan said, “The success of our economic recovery depends on our ability to meet the needs of employers with a local workforce that’s prepared for the jobs of today and tomorrow. Meeting those needs requires a focused and well-coordinated approach to workforce development that we finally have in New York State under the new Office of Strategic Workforce Development. These grants are a game changer that will finally build up the workforce development infrastructure we need to help New Yorkers and grow our economy.”
Assemblymember Harry Bronson said, “As Chair of the Assembly’s Committee on Economic Development, I applaud Governor Hochul for today’s announcement. The New York State Office of Strategic Workforce Development plays a vital role in creating and retaining jobs in our region and across the state. The Rochester area has a long and strong history as a leader in manufacturing, information technology, cyber defense as well as skilled construction workers and managers. This partnership of Rochester Institute of Technology and L3 Harris, as well as the grant funding, will provide training opportunities for many families in our region and will be another step in building a diverse and equitable economy.”
Assemblymember Al Stirpe said, “As chair of the Assembly Small Business Committee and a former business owner, I’ve seen firsthand how important advanced workforce training is for business resiliency across all industry sectors. The Capital and Pay for Performance Grant Programs is a vital investment that bolsters the state’s workforce pipeline and I applaud the NYS Office of Strategic Workforce Development for championing this dynamic public-private partnership. This funding will help ensure employees right here in Central New York have access to the skill-based training and support they need to secure good-paying jobs and advance their careers.”
Assemblymember Carrie Woerner said, “I commend Governor Hochul and the Office of Strategic Workforce Development for funding this comprehensive package of projects,” said Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner. “These awards recognize and address the critical need to support workers and employers as they develop and implement innovative practices that provide the basis for a stable economy and jobs that will keep New Yorkers in New York.”