Governor Hochul Announces Comprehensive Plan to Strengthen New York's Workforce and Help Grow the Economy –

Seven-Pronged Initiative Will Overhaul Workforce Development in New York to Focus on Regional Needs, Expand Access to New Careers and Career Services, and Recruit the Next Generation of New York’s Labor Force
Plan Will Establish New York as a National Model for the Employment of Individuals with Disabilities and Strengthen Protections for All Workers
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced a comprehensive plan to strengthen New York’s workforce and help grow the economy as part of the 2022 State of the State. This seven-pronged initiative reimagines and overhauls New York’s approach to workforce development by focusing on regional needs, creating and expanding access to career services and the jobs of tomorrow, and identifying innovative ways to build the workforce of the future. 
“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,” Governor Hochul said. “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.”  
New York’s workforce has not yet fully recovered from the pandemic downturn. 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. Employers in some high-demand industries have a seen a surge in open positions, while those in some essential sectors are struggling to retain and recruit top talent. 
To advance meaningful job opportunities and support industries across the State, Governor Hochul will 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 the jobs of the future.
To accomplish this, the Governor will:   
Create the Office of Workforce and Economic Development to Overhaul the State’s Workforce Development Efforts and Focus on Region-Specific Needs  
To meet the needs of both workers and businesses, while also recognizing the differences between regional economies, Governor Hochul will create the Office of Workforce and Economic Development to drive workforce development across the state.
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, and standing as a trusted partner in the business community to help identify employer needs early and train New Yorkers to meet these needs. To ensure flexibility to meet changing needs, each REDC will help determine workforce development funding on a real-time, continual basis (as opposed to an annual funding cycle) to generate a pipeline of new workers for regionally-significant industries.   
Additionally, Governor Hochul will strengthen the Office of New Americans’ successful workforce development programming, which aims to support new Americans across the career path through a variety of initiatives. 
Help More New Yorkers Move Between Education and Career  
Governor Hochul will implement a plan to make it easier for New Yorkers to move between education and career, providing students with pathways and assistance to earn credentials on their own time and in a cost-effective manner. 
Components of this plan include: 
Expand Access to Apprenticeships  
Registered apprenticeships are an important tool for economic mobility, but not all New Yorkers are able to take advantage of such programs. Currently, the State has nearly 18,400 active apprentices in 975 registered apprenticeship programs, with 40 percent of programs in high-growth fields such as IT, healthcare, and advanced manufacturing.
To help expand access to apprenticeships in these emerging fields, Governor Hochul will: 
Recruit the Next Generation of Public Servants  
With more than a quarter of the State workforce eligible to retire within the next 5 years, it is imperative that New York continue to attract the best and brightest to public service careers so we can continue meeting the needs of those we serve.
To fill this gap and build a robust pipeline of diverse new talent into the State workforce, Governor Hochul will: 
Expand the State’s Technology Talent Pipeline  
Every day, New Yorkers engage with more and more digital government services, a trend that has accelerated since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the need for those services has grown, so has the need for technical talent to build, deliver, and improve those services. Governor Hochul will expand the tech talent pipeline by increasing exposure to technical roles in government service through internships, fellowships, and mid-career opportunities.
As part of this effort, the Governor will: 
Make New York a Model for the Employment of Workers with Disabilities  
In recent years, only about one-third of working-age New Yorkers with disabilities held jobs — ranking 38th in the nation. To make New York a national leader in this area, Governor Hochul will work to expand job opportunities in high-growth areas for workers with disabilities by:
Protect and Strengthen Workers’ Rights  
To ensure that our State’s economic growth and recovery lifts up all workers, Governor Hochul will: