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Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Governor Hochul Announces Second Round of Office of Strategic Workforce Development Grant Awards Totaling More Than $7 Million

Governor Kathy Hochul on Thursday, March 2nd, announced the New York State Office of Strategic Workforce Development has awarded more than $7 million in grants to fourteen projects across the state through the second round of the Workforce Development Capital and Pay for Performance Grant Programs. These grants will support the training of more than 3,700 workers through collaboration between training providers and more than 100 employer partners in fields like advanced manufacturing, renewable energy, and construction. 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.

"The most important investment we can make is in the people of New York," Governor Hochul said. "Our new Office of Strategic Workforce Development will support the needs of New York's businesses while providing resources to training programs that are removing long-standing barriers to the training and skills necessary to thrive in the workforce of the future."

The first round of awards for the Office of Strategic Workforce Development which was announced late last year, awarded more than $6 million and will leverage more than $4 million in public/private funding and support nearly 3,000 trainees for over 100 business partners.

The grants awarded to fourteen 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; and 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 and effective wraparound services.


Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, "Our Office of Strategic Workforce Development is making smart and strategic investments in programs that will provide New York State's workforce with the tools they need to succeed in an ever-changing business climate. By focusing on in demand skills and trades that are needed today as well as tomorrow, we are providing essential building blocks that are needed now and for future generations. "

Round Two Awardees:

Pay for Performance (P4P) Operating Grant Awardees:

Mohawk Valley Community College - Mohawk Valley - $976,000: Mohawk Valley Community College's Fast Track training program is designed to help young adults who would otherwise be unable to rise out of poverty to secure fast-track training that can put them into a good career after less than one year of training, while simultaneously addressing dire employer needs for workers and building a sustainable workforce development model for the mid-skill careers that are vital to the region's economy. MVCC will provide skill-based trainings in mechatronics, welding, CNC, carpentry, and masonry, while local workforce development partners will recruit trainees and support job placement efforts.

Rochester Works - Finger Lakes - $862,000: Through a collaboration with training partner YAMTEP, Rochester Works' ROC SEEDS youth navigator program provides pre-employment training and experiences that connect participants to entry and mid-level employment opportunities in the advanced manufacturing industry. The program provides soft-skill development as well as extensive hands-on experience and expansive support services in order to combat common barriers to employment.

Clarkson University - North Country - $729,000: The Advancing Industry with Micro-credentials program at Clarkson University will expand the college's existing micro-credentialing program to include courses in advanced manufacturing, clean tech, and construction that will result in ready-to-hire graduates in in-demand fields. The new micro-credentials are being developed to meet the needs of industry partners, who have committed to supporting curriculum design, providing experiential learning opportunities, and interviewing program graduates.

Social Enterprise and Training Center - Capital Region - $485,200: The Social Enterprise and Training Center (SEAT) Build Up Young Filmmakers program will provide comprehensive training to allow historically marginalized young people to pursue careers in the film and video production industries while helping to grow and diversify the Capital Region's film production hub. SEAT will provide holistic wraparound services to maximize participant success, while industry partners have committed to assisting in curriculum design, providing internships or workshops, and to interview program graduates.

SUNY Oswego - Central New York - $340,963: The Instructor Bootcamp at SUNY Oswego will be a collaborative effort between industry, workforce development, and education partners in the Central New York region to expand the number of instructors available for other workforce training programs such as Syracuse Build and TradesFuture. The Instructor Bootcamp will equip an estimated 120 new-to-training professionals with skills in pedagogy, instructional technology, and creating inclusive learning spaces in order to support the programs that will support the rapid growth of the manufacturing sector in the region.

United Way of Long Island - Long Island - $249,000: United Way of Long Island's Power Up Wind, Solar & Renewables is a free training program creating pathways for culturally diverse young adults to secure careers in renewable energy, clean tech, offshore wind, solar, and advanced manufacturing. The program was developed with input from industry partners to ensure it is responsive to industry needs, as well as providing trainees transferable and industry-recognized skills.

Center for Employment Opportunities - New York City - $193,735: The Center for Employment Opportunity (CEO)'s New York City Pathways to Apprenticeship program will provide interested justice-impacted participants with the job readiness skills and work experience needed to join a union apprenticeship, and eventually enjoy the higher wages and better work site safety of union construction jobs. Program participants are provided with a paid transitional work opportunity, a job coach, and a job developer to help identify full-time employment opportunities upon program completion.

Center for Employment Opportunities - Western New York - $168,750: The Center for Employment Opportunity (CEO)'s Buffalo Pathways to Apprenticeship program will provide interested justice-impacted participants with the job readiness skills and work experience needed to join a union apprenticeship, and eventually enjoy the higher wages and better work site safety of union construction jobs. Program participants are provided with a paid transitional work opportunity, a job coach, and a job developer to help identify full-time employment opportunities upon program completion.

North Country Chamber of Commerce - North Country - $125,000: The North Country Chamber of Commerce's welding training is a no-cost, comprehensive program offered in partnership with Clinton Community College and Lincoln Electric that will help meet local industry demand for high-skilled welders. The program was developed for, and in consultation with, local advanced manufacturing and transportation equipment manufacturers, which have more than 50 immediate openings for graduates.

SUNY Cobleskill - Mohawk Valley - $86,400: SUNY Cobleskill's Dairy Processing Bootcamp will provide food processing workforce pre-employment safety and sanitation training in topics identified as critically important by dairy industry partners in order to prepare participants for immediate employment. Targeted recruitment via local workforce development boards and refugee centers will ensure that marginalized populations are provided a pathway into this growing local industry.

P4P Capacity-Building Awardees:

Per Scholas - New York City - $822,000: Per Scholas' tuition free tech training, including bootcamp-style courses in IT support, AWS re/Start, cybersecurity, and software engineering, creates career opportunities and economic mobility for un/underemployed New Yorkers. The training and career development strategies are employer-informed to ensure graduates are able to address technology trends and emerging needs, while also creating a more diverse talent pipeline for industry partners.

Brooklyn Workforce Innovation - New York City - $201,000: Brooklyn Workforce Innovation's "Made in NY" Production Assistant Training Program connects diverse unemployed and underemployed New Yorkers to careers in film and television production by providing professional skills and job readiness training, as well as a pathway into the industry through their 24-hour placement hotline. Along with hiring program graduates, industry partners inform and deliver training and provide hands-on experience and mentorship to participants.

CenterState CEO - Central New York - $128,000: CenterState CEO's Syracuse Surge programs create inclusive and diverse economic growth by providing training for entry-level careers in in-demand industries such as advanced manufacturing, electrical mechanical technology, computer programing and cybersecurity. The expansion of these programs will provide a stronger and more diverse talent pipeline for the local "high-tech" cluster, while providing graduates a pathway to stable, well-paid employment with room for growth.

Capital Grant Awardee:

Questar III BOCES - Capital Region - $1,645,985: Questar III BOCES will transform an outdated facility into a state-of-the-art training center that will house two high-demand trade programs: a new welding and metal fabrication program, and the existing heavy equipment maintenance and operation program. Industry stakeholders have identified the need for the expansion of programming in these fields, as well as committed to providing internships and other experiential learning opportunities for trainees.

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

About Empire State Development
Empire State Development (ESD) is New York's chief economic development agency. The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing the New York State Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of "I LOVE NY," the State's iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, please visit and


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