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New York State’s Seven-Step Workforce Plan: From Overhauling The State’s Workforce Development Efforts & ‘Focus On Region-Specific Needs’ To ‘Expanding Access’ To Apprenticeships & Recruiting The “Next Generation Of Public Servants”

Published Sunday, January 9, 2022
by Tracey Porpora/The Staten Island Advance
New York State’s Seven-Step Workforce Plan: From Overhauling The State’s Workforce Development Efforts & ‘Focus On Region-Specific Needs’ To ‘Expanding Access’ To Apprenticeships & Recruiting The “Next Generation Of Public Servants”

(ALBANY, NEW YORK) - As part of her 2022 State of the State Address, Governor Kathy Hochul announced a comprehensive plan to strengthen New York’s Workforce and help grow the economy, which includes expanding Part-Time Tuition Assistance Programs, Apprenticeships and jobs for people with disabilities.

Her seven-pronged initiative promises to “reimagine and overhaul” New York’s approach to workforce development by focusing on regional needs and expanding access to career services.

Hochul said her plan aims to help New York’s workforce recover from the Coronavirus Pandemic downturn: “The pandemic had caused tremendous damage to our workforce and in order to come back stronger, we must be creative with our approach and work directly with regional partners who have been on the ground helping connect New Yorkers with employment.  By taking a comprehensive approach that addresses this issue from multiple angles, we can tailor our solutions to best meet the needs of that particular region, industry or Worker.”

As of Fall 2021, New York’s job deficit was three times greater than the national average and higher by some measures than any other state, the Governor said.

Employers in some high-demand industries have seen a surge in open positions, while those in some essential sectors are struggling to retain and recruit top talent, State Officials said.

Hochul said her plan seeks to overhaul the state’s approach to workforce development, while at the same time invest in a full spectrum of programs to unlock career opportunities that prepare more New Yorkers for “jobs of the future.”

To accomplish this, the Governor will:

  1. Create The Office Of Workforce And Economic Development To Overhaul The State’s Workforce Development Efforts And Focus On Region-Specific Needs - Managed by Empire State Development and administered through the Regional Economic Development Councils in conjunction with the Department of Labor, the State University of New York and the City University of New York, the new office will leverage Empire State Development’s relationships with employers throughout the state.
  2. Help More New Yorkers Move Between Education And Career, this includes: Expanding part-time tuition assistance programs, allowing parents and dislocated Workers to attend school without “upending their lives,” serving 75,000 students; Providing financial support for non-degree workforce training at CUNY and SUNY; Developing public-private funding partnerships to create new internship opportunities for SUNY and CUNY students; Establishing a policy that would enable work experiences to count toward degree credits; and Incentivizing concurrent enrollment programs around credit achievement and matriculation.
  3. Expand Access To Apprenticeships: The state said it has nearly 18,400 active Apprentices in 975 Registered Apprenticeship Programs, with 40% of programs in high-growth fields, such as IT, Health Care and Advanced Manufacturing. To help expand access to Apprenticeships in these emerging fields, Hochul will: Increase funding for Apprenticeship Programs at SUNY and CUNY; Extend the Empire State Apprenticeship Tax Credit and further incentivize employers to hire disadvantaged youth; Support apprentices in high-growth industries, targeting under-represented groups, such as Women and People of Color; Create a Pre-Apprenticeship Portal to help more New Yorkers find programs that are right for them; Support direct-entry Pre-Apprenticeships, as well as organizations supporting Pre-Apprenticeships; and Make qualified Apprenticeship expenses eligible for spending out of college savings (529) accounts.
  4. Recruit The “Next Generation Of Public Servants” By: Making Civil Service exams more accessible: New Department of Civil Service testing centers will be established at designated SUNY College Campuses throughout the state. Promote diverse hiring: To help state agencies hire the best and brightest as quickly as possible, Hochul will propose legislation to change Civil Service Law to accelerate the hiring of qualified/diverse candidates to public service careers and streamline hiring practices. Maintain Civil Service Exam integrity: The Department of Civil Service will expand efforts to ensure civil service exams are maintaining the highest standards of integrity and equity.

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