NYS Workforce Development Initiative Fails
to Address Nonprofit Workforce Crisis

July 30, 2021

Earlier this week the Administration announced the release of another $175M in NYS Workforce Development funds as part of its’ ongoing effort to stabilize and stimulate economic growth in regions around the state (see Release below).  In the first round of funding released last year, 225 organizations received over $70M (collectively) to support ‘regionally significant’ industries in ’emergening fields’ with ‘growing demand for jobs’.  Unfortunately the awards did not include many mental health or substance use disorder provider organizations although we know that in most communities, nonprofit organizations account for nearly 20% of the local economy and (as we know all too well) the demand for these services wildly outweighs current workforce capacity.  As such, a group of associations decided to respond to the latest announcement from the Governor’s Office.  See attached Press Release

Like you, we are tired of being ignored.  Going forward, each and every time there are resources made available to businesses in ‘growth industries’ we will work aggressively to ensure nonprofit organizations, and specifically mental health and substance use disorder/addiction organizations, are at the head of the line.


For Immediate Release: 7/28/2021



Second Round of Funding Makes $48 Million Available to Help New Yorkers Find Quality, Well-Paid Jobs and to Meet the Short and Long-Term Workforce Needs of Businesses 

Consolidated Funding Application Through the Regional Economic Development Councils Opens Monday, August 2 

Initiative Aims to Create Economic Opportunity for Every New Yorker and Furthers New York’s Goal to Reimagine, Rebuild and Renew after the COVID-19 Pandemic 

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the launch of the second round of the $175 million Workforce Development Initiative. This second round of funding makes $48 million available to support strategic regional efforts that help New Yorkers find quality, well-paid jobs and meet businesses’ short-term workforce needs, improve regional talent pipelines, enhance the flexibility and adaptability of local workforce entities, expand apprenticeships and address the long-term needs of growing industries. In this second call for applications, the Workforce Development Initiative will bring together the resources, plans, and perspectives of multiple state agencies and authorities, the Regional Economic Development Councils, nonprofit training providers and private sector employers to further New York’s goal to Reimagine, Rebuild, and Renew from the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications for the initiative will open on Monday, August 2nd. 

“Economic development isn’t about making the rich richer—it’s about ensuring everyone has the opportunity to get a piece of the pie,” Governor Cuomo said. “During a time when our economy has struggled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s even more critical that we build a skilled and capable workforce, and that’s exactly what this $175 million initiative does. The second round of the state’s Workforce Development Initiative will leverage our resources to educate and train New Yorkers to both support their families and succeed in their professional lives.” 

“The economic impact of COVID-19 has completely upended the traditional workplace, and we are committed to helping New Yorkers get the skills and experience needed for the jobs of tomorrow,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, chair of the statewide Regional Economic Development Councils. “Our Workforce Development Initiative will continue to keep New Yorkers ahead of the job curve and create a more inclusive post-pandemic future where success is accessible to all.” 

Information about the application process and program guidelines are available here. The Consolidated Funding Application will open to applicants on Monday August 2nd, and applications will be accepted on a continual basis. The funding made available for this initiative consolidates multiple programs administered by various state agencies and authorities. 

Applications that are targeted to the zones designated under Governor Cuomo’s Gun Violence Prevention Initiative and that incorporate strategies designed to engage young at-risk New Yorkers in these areas with opportunities to cultivate skills in high-demand, good-paying jobs will be awarded additional points in agency scoring. 

Funding and incentives provided by the New York State Department of Labor, the State University of New York, the City University of New York, Empire State Development and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority will support critical job training and employment opportunities in high-demand industries for nearly 22,000 New Yorkers across the State.   

Awards will fall into one of three categories: 

Public-Private Partnerships to Advance 21st Century Skills: These programs expand the infrastructure and capacity of SUNY and CUNY to produce skilled talent that meets the needs of regional employers. These resources will provide funding for classroom space, technology and equipment, and industry-engaged curriculum development. These programs will also foster connections with regional employers by building structured work-based learning experiences, such as internships, co-op learning, apprenticeships and direct on-the-job training, in high demand sectors like life sciences, STEM, and advanced manufacturing. Also, of interest is development of “stackable” commonly accepted worker credentials like skill certificates, badges, and ladders. Funds available in this category are provided through SUNY and CUNY and include capital, apprenticeship, customized curriculum and new job linkage opportunities.

Employer-Driven Skills so Training Leads to Quality Jobs: These programs expand employer investment in a skilled workforce pipeline. Resources will provide direct funding or tax credits to train incumbent workers and to recruit and train entry-level workers. Applications will tend to come directly from employers. Funds available in this category are provided by DOL, NYSERDA and ESD for employer-driven employee training and internships.

Workforce Solutions that Match Business Needs: The Workforce Solutions programs provide flexible funding for innovative workforce development projects. Funds will support strategic regional efforts that meet businesses’ near-term workforce needs, address long-term industry needs, improve regional talent pipelines, enhance flexibility and adaptability of local workforce entities, and expand apprenticeships. The programs will focus on regionally significant industries in emerging fields with growing demands for jobs. Examples of successful applications could include sector and industry-cluster-based strategies that regionally address a worker shortage or projects that have the potential to rapidly deploy and meet the demonstrated demand for jobs open currently or imminently. Sources of funding from participating agencies and authorities will be matched to proposals, based on the details of the project. 

All projects and activities must be consistent with the region’s workforce development plans. More information about the Workforce Development Initiative can be found at workforcedevelopment.ny.gov. 

New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, “Workforce development is at the forefront of Governor Cuomo’s post-pandemic economic recovery plan. The Workforce Development Initiative gives New Yorkers the opportunity to pursue their career dreams through education, training and skill enhancement while helping businesses secure a skilled workforce to accomplish their goals and stimulate economic growth. This incentive is oil to help rev New York’s economic engine.” 

Empire State Development Chief Operating Officer and Executive Deputy Commissioner Kevin Younis said, “Workforce development is a pillar of the state’s strategy to generate sustainable economic growth. Supporting programs that train the workforce of tomorrow better positions the state to attract new businesses and industries that will establish roots, knowing that there is a pipeline of skilled New Yorkers with the training and expertise to help companies thrive.” 

State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras said, “The Workforce Development Initiative is a significant investment that will help close the skills gap by training more people for in-demand jobs—an effort that coincides perfectly with the reopening and rebirth of the New York State economy. With nonstop advancements in technology consistently reshaping how businesses are run, employers need professionals who are consistently building new skills. With meaningful investment from New York State and leadership from the Governor, we can continue to align the advanced training offered at our colleges with the evolving needs of the workforce—a synergy that benefits students, businesses, and the economy as a whole.” 

City University of New York Chancellor and NYC REDC Co-Chair Félix V. Matos Rodríguez said, “Workforce development is a critical investment toward rebuilding and revitalizing New York with a broad range of economic development and job training programs that will allow our students to train for the jobs of today and tomorrow, expand opportunities to partner with regional employers and enable our graduates to play a key role in the recovery of the city and region. With the support of Governor Cuomo and New York State, CUNY will contribute the expertise and human resources needed to help fuel the City’s and region’s economic recovery.” 

NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, “Career pathway training for high efficiency heating, ventilation, and air conditioning careers that specialize in heat pump technologies is critical to creating a pipeline of workers that will support our nation-leading efforts to transition New York State to a clean energy economy. NYSERDA is proud to offer funding that will help high schools, unions, trade associations, community organizations and community colleges offer the training needed for young adults and unemployed or underemployed adults – especially within disadvantaged communities and priority populations – so that they can acquire the skills needed to take advantage of new and exciting career opportunities within the flourishing clean energy sector.”    

In the first round of funding, over $70 million was awarded to 225 organizations to support regionally significant industries in emerging fields with growing demands for jobs—including clean energy, life sciences, computer science, and advanced technologies—as well as efforts to improve the economic security of women, young workers, and other populations that face significant barriers to career advancement. To date, the businesses and organizations that have received Workforce Development awards include: 

Capital Region: Albany-Schoharie-Schenectady-Saratoga BOCES, Capital District Women’s Employment & Resource Center, Hudson Valley Community College, Schenectady County Community College, Social Enterprise and Training Center, Our Ability, Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless, New York Alliance for Inclusion and Innovation, The Young Men’s Christian Association of the Capital District, Wesley Health Care Center, Sysco Albany, Youth FX, Adirondack Community College, Center for Employment Opportunities, AVNA Global, ShopRite Supermarkets, Albany Can Code, Schenectady Community Action Program, JTC Center LLC

Central New York: Ames Linen Service, Tompkins Cortland Community College, Onondaga Community College, Marathon Boat Group, Learning Disabilities Association of CNY, TTM Technologies, K&N’s Foods USA, WMT Precision, Leonardi Manufacturing, D&W Diesel, Oswego County, Catholic Charities of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse, Advocates, Inc, Responsive to Our Community, Snyder Corporation, Northland Communications, Mountain Valley Hospice, Specialized Distribution Solutions

Finger Lakes: Finger Lakes Community College, Clifton Springs Hospital and Clinic, Park Ridge Nursing Home, Rochester General Hospital, Rochester General Long Term Care, Newark-Wayne Community Hospital, Unity Hospital, Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES, Sweeteners Plus, Mary Cariola Children’s Center, Airquip, Inc, Turner Underground Installations, Rochester City School District Office of Adult Career Education Services, United Memorial Medical Center, Canandaigua Driving School, Lifetime Assistance, Inc, Mozaic, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester Rehabilitation Center, Inc,

Long Island: Suffolk County Department of Labor, Licensing & Consumer Affairs, United Way of Long Island, We Connect the Dots, Town of Hempstead Department of Occupational Resources, Lutech Veterinary Industries, All-Ways Elevator, Inc, Topaz Lighting Corporation, Payless Enterprises Inc. Access Careers, Town of Hempstead Department of Occupational Resources, Stony Brook University, East End Disability Associates Inc, Infinity Drain, Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, Adults and Children with Learning and Developmental Disabilities, Viability Inc, Nassau Community College, New York Institute of Technology, Nicholas Center, Spectrum Designs Foundation, Visiting Nurse Service of New York, Premiere Services Management, Alliance Computing Solutions, Allied Business Solutions, Lifes WORC, Cambridge Business Institute

Mid-Hudson: Westchester Community College, Ulster County Community College, Rockland Community College, Dutchess Community College, Caribbean Food Delights Inc, Rockland BOCES, Touro College and University System, The Arc Mid-Hudson, Stockade Works, Westchester Care at Home, Westhab Inc, Ramapo for Children, eScholar, Westchester Medical Center Health Network, Greyston Foundation, Ability Beyond Disability, Choice Films at Umbra Stages

Mohawk Valley: Mohawk Valley Community College, Strategic Global Aviation Inc13, SUNY Cobleskill, Empire Paving Materials, Valley Health Services, Otsego Northern Catskills BOCES, Advanced Tool, Inc, Strategic Global Aviation,

New York City: Bronx Community College, Brooklyn College, Borough of Manhattan Community College, LaGuardia Community College, Hostos Community College, Queensborough Community College, Parker Jewish Institute, Rebuilding Together NYC, Montefiore Medical Center, International Rescue Committee, Leap Inc, The Osborne Association Inc, St Nicks Alliance, Morrisania Revitalization Corporation, Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow, The Alliance for Positive Change, Per Scholas, Queens Community House, The Door, Kingsborough Community College, Emma’s Torch, Project Renewal, Sanctuary for Families, Wilson Allen Health Careers Institute, ICD International Center for the Disabled, Lehman College, Translatinx Network, Roulette Intermedium, Sunnyside Community Services, Thomas White Jr Foundation Inc, Upwardly Global, Henry Street Settlement, NYCDCC Apprenticeship Journeyman Retraining Educational & Industry Fund, NPower, Roundabout Theatre Company, Building Skills NY, Youth Action YouthBuild, East Side House, Inc, Sephardic Bikur Holim, SoHarlem, Reel Stories Teen Filmmaking Inc, STRIVE International Inc, BioBus, Inc, Brooklyn Communities Collaborative, Rockaway Development & Revitalization Corporation, The Doe Fund, Steven Winter Associates, Stacks and Joules Inc., The HOPE Program, Building Skills NY, Flextrapower, Jawonio

North Country: Ready4Real ETS, Jefferson-Lewis BOCES, North Country Workforce Partnership, Inc., North Country Chamber of Commerce

Southern Tier: Data Bound Solutions Inc, Raymond Hadley Corporation, Alstom, Broome-Tioga BOCES

Western New York: SoPark Corporation, People Inc, Time Release Sciences Inc, Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES, Pfannenberg, Mercy Flight, Buffalo Center for Arts and Technology, Erie 1 BOCES, St. Bonaventure University, Northland Workforce Training Center, Assembly House 150, Fresenius Kabi, Catholic Charities of Buffalo NY

Read Full Analysis Here