Assemblymember Bronson: Budget Invests in Apprenticeship Program

Assemblymember Harry B. Bronson (D-Rochester/Chili/Henrietta) announced that the Empire State Apprenticeship Program (ESAP) he championed has been included in the 2017-18 state budget. This job-training program will help lower youth unemployment, close the skills gap and develop a competitive workforce.

“Businesses across the state have good-paying middle skills jobs that can lift hardworking New Yorkers out of poverty,” Bronson said. “But a severe shortage of qualified candidates means these positions often go unfilled. The apprenticeship program develops a pipeline connecting young people to job-training and to job opportunities – helping both them and our businesses succeed.”

As Chair of the legislative Commission on Skills Development and Career Education, Bronson sees three big issues that can be solved with an apprenticeship program: a high young adult unemployment and poverty rate, a skills gap and a fragile workforce development program.

The Empire State Apprenticeship Program will help businesses hire young adults between the ages of 16 and 24 as apprentices so they can become skilled workers in fields such as nursing, agriculture, advanced manufacturing and information technology. The funding helps offset the cost of training by providing resources to employers who hire disadvantaged young adults. The program also encourages mentoring to help young workers overcome barriers faced in successfully completing the job training and maintaining their full-time job. As a result, it will launch careers that can lift New Yorkers out of poverty and create a competitive workforce that drives business and innovation.

“Under this program young workers can earn as they learn. With training and a foot in the door, young people can start building their careers. Bronson said. “This program can help boost our economy and keep it thriving.”