Assemblyman Stirpe: Workforce Development Programs are Essential for Central New York Businesses

Central New York has become a hub for innovation as groundbreaking advancements in technology have inspired several inventive projects across the region, helping local manufacturing and engineering industries continue to grow. With these developments come a greater demand for highly skilled workers. Developing and improving programs ensures our community members are equipped with the skills and knowledge they need to thrive and helps our region stay competitive and flourish.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on working-class New Yorkers, especially women and marginalized communities that have historically been sidelined during periods of economic recovery. That’s why we must expend state funds to stimulate job creation by businesses and utilize not-for-profit employers to meet the needs of those seeking training opportunities to promote a post-pandemic economic recovery that is equitable and inclusive. As New York’s economic recovery continues, we must ensure that the workforce development programs funded in the 2021-22 state budget provide current and potential workers with the skills needed for employment in high-skill industries and meet the needs of employers.

As chair of the Assembly Small Business Committee and a former small-business owner myself, I know the growth and recovery of these industries are dependent, in part, on the efficacy of the training programs we provide. To that end, I have introduced legislation to ensure our region’s workforce can meet the demands of a technologically advanced labor market, including my bill establishing an Office of Older Adult Workforce Development within the state Office for the Aging (A.3403). Many older New Yorkers often face significant barriers to entering or re-entering the workforce. The creation of an Office for Older Adult Workforce Development would cater to the particular needs of older workers and support them as they seek employment.

Furthermore, I’ve co-sponsored legislation to create the strategic investment in workforce development program within the New York State Urban Development Program to identify and address workforce needs throughout the state (A.1011). This program would serve our unemployed and underemployed youth, providing them with resources and workforce training activities by utilizing information collected through collaborations with the Department of Labor, Department of Economic Development and various academic institutions. Applicants to this program would include not-for-profits, educational entities, and programs that provide training and skill development.

Throughout my time in the Assembly, I fought to secure millions in funding for workplace development programs in Central New York. These programs support members of our communities as they learn valuable skills to prepare for high-skilled, high-paying jobs in new and emerging industries. I’ll continue to do everything I can to support workers in Central New York and across the state.

As always, I’m here to help. If you have questions or concerns about this or any other community issue, please don’t hesitate to contact my office at 315-452-1115 or