Senate Creates Workforce Development Task Force

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, R-Rockville Centre, announced the creation of the Senate Task Force on Workforce Development.

Objectives of the Senate Task Force on Workforce Development include reviewing existing programs designed to train both prospective job seekers and existing employees for employment opportunities; to help develop new initiatives to improve employee readiness; and to create well-paying jobs to help grow the state’s economy. 

Additionally, task force members will solicit input from leaders in business, education, state and local government, and other workforce experts to create a better process to connect people who are being trained with the jobs that are available.

“The Senate wants to ensure that New Yorkers have access to effective job training services that can help them succeed in our rapidly changing economy,” Skelos said. 

Senators Jack Martins and George Amedore will serve as co-chairs of the Task Force. Martins is the chairman of the Senate Labor Committee.

Martins, R-Mineola, chairman of the Senate Labor Committee, said that developing a skilled workforce is beneficial to both people and businesses across the state.

“Developing a skilled workforce and training people for high-demand jobs benefits us all — workers, employers and our economy as a whole. Most importantly, it benefits families and communities. Connecting people to jobs will be our priority as we move forward.”

Amedore, R-Rotterdam, said the program will add competitiveness and innovation into workforce development.

“Workforce development programs are essential to bridge the gap between companies looking to grow and expand, and unemployed workers who need to learn the skills necessary for employment in today’s changing economy,” Amedore said. “By investing in a first-rate, skilled workforce now, we will not only attract new businesses, but we will help existing businesses be more competitive and innovative.”

Last year’s budget included $5 million for the Next Generation Job Linkage Program, which worked with employers to identify jobs, define skills and provide training for new employees. Additionally, $4 million in funding was provided to the Workforce Development Institute, a non-profit organization that works with businesses and the AFL-CIO to provide workforce training and transition support to help prevent the outsourcing of jobs to other states, along with $3 million for a new manufacturing career development initiative.

Task Force members include: Sen. Phil Boyle, R-Sag Harbor; Sen. Rich Funke, R-Fairport; Sen. Joseph Griffo, R-Rome; Sen. William Larkin, R-Cornwall-on-Hudson; Sen. Kenneth LaValle, R-Port Jefferson; Sen. Carl Marcellino, R-Syosset; Sen. Kathy Marchione, R-Halfmoon; Sen. Tom O’Mara, R-Big Flats; Sen. Patricia Ritchie, R-Heuvelton; Sen. Susan Serino, R-Hyde Park; Sen. James Seward, R-Oneonta; Sen. Michael Venditto, R-Massapequa; and Sen. Catharine Young, R-Olean.

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