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New York State FY 2019 Budget Includes $175 million for Workforce Development!

Friday, March 30, 2018 – NY, NY –  A coalition of more than 300 businesses, economic and workforce development organizations, and postsecondary providers called Invest in Skills NY, today announced the bipartisan support and passage of $175 million in this year’s state budget for workforce development.

The measure was included in the 2019 State Budget agreement and will bring a new approach for workforce investments that will support strategic regional efforts to meet businesses' short-term workforce needs, improve regional talent pipelines, expand apprenticeships, and address the long-term needs of expanding industries. Funds will also support efforts to improve the economic security of women, youth, and other populations that face significant barriers to career advancement.  The funds will be administered in consultation with the state workforce investment board and state agencies responsible for administration of the programs.

Invest in Skills NY (ISNY) is an advocacy partnership that worked to ensure that Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature made skilled workforce an economic priority in the FY 2018-19 budget.

New York State has a skills gap that continues to grow. Forty-one percent of New Yorkers have a high school diploma. The increase in skills are needed as technology advances will likely widen the relative wage gap between high skill and low skill New Yorkers. ‘Middle skill jobs’ – jobs that require more than a high school diploma, but less than a four-year college degree – are growing in New York and will require training systems to adjust to fill open jobs. Additionally, nearly 22% of New York’s workers are ages 55 and older, further exacerbating the skills gap and worker shortage.

The young adult unemployment rate is more than double the state rate at 10.5% with New York City at a rate of 14 percent.  

“The Invest in Skills NY coalition is encouraged to see that the Governor and Legislature included $175 million in workforce development investments in this year's State Budget," said Marissa Martin, Young Invincibles’ northeast director. "This investment has the power to meaningfully address young adult unemployment in our state by creating quality, targeted training programs that connect regional employers with local skilled workers.  We look forward to working with the Administration and State Legislature to ensure this funding strengthens the critical connection between business and workforce development.”

Currently New York State’s unemployment has fallen to its lowest rate since the nation’s bicentennial. While employers are growing and hiring statewide, they continue to be hindered by a lack of good talent while thousands of New Yorkers still have not enjoyed economic recovery and are still on the sidelines, lacking the skills needed for available job openings.

Melinda Mack, executive director at the New York Association of Training and Employment Professionals said: “New York State should lead in its support of programs that help New Yorkers access the basic education, work readiness and in-demand skills needed to secure stable, family-supporting jobs and advance up a career ladder. With high-wage jobs going unfilled across the state due to the lack of skilled workers, it is a lose-lose for businesses and communities. Every New Yorker in the state who wants to work and grow their career should be able to benefit from the state’s economic growth.”

Kevin Stump, vice president of Policy, Communications, and In-School Practice at JobsFirstNYC said: “Access to opportunity is increasingly harder to reach for today’s young adults as the economy continues to evolve, which makes the final state budget investment of $175 million for workforce development an important victory for today’s rising adults. Now it's our job to ensure the roll out of this landmark investment creates stronger economic mobility.” 

Marissa Martin