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Empire State Development Releases Report Outlining First Year Accomplishments of the Office of Strategic Workforce Development

Office has Awarded $13 Million to 22 Innovative Training Programs Across the State

Read Executive Summary Here

Read Full Progress Report Here

Empire State Development (ESD) today released the first progress report from its Office of Strategic Workforce Development (OSWD), announced by Governor Hochul in her 2022 State of the State address to reimagine New York State’s approach to strategic, collaborative and equitable workforce development. The report, which provides detailed information regarding the implementation of the Governor’s $350 million Workforce Development Initiative, includes an update on OSWD’s $150 million workforce development grant programs and other major milestones since its creation in April 2022 as part of the FY 2023 Budget. Subsequent progress reports will be issued on an annual basis.  

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “Our Office of Strategic Workforce Development has hit the ground running and is continuing to make strategic investments that will train employees for New York State’s high growth industries and will provide our workforce with the tools they need to succeed today, and for the future. We are also laying the important groundwork for standardized and quantifiable metrics to evaluate and track the impact these grants are making across industries, organizations and participants to guide future rounds of funding.”

New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, “I thank Governor Hochul for her unending commitment to ensuring all New Yorkers receive accessible, quality training services to gain the skills they need to thrive in our economy. I am so proud to be part of this collaborative effort that will continue to put New Yorkers on the path to success for years to come.”

Since the Office’s creation, OSWD has established the $115 million Pay for Performance and the $35 million Workforce Development Capital Grant Programs to meet the needs of New York State employers in high-growth industries, increase the capacity of workforce training providers, and better position New Yorkers to fill high-quality, in-demand jobs. The Office launched its $150 million grant program and awarded over $13 million to launch and grow 22 innovative programs to prepare New Yorkers for careers in advanced manufacturing, biotech and life sciences, cleantech and renewable energy, construction, photonics, film and television production and software and digital media. These grant programs will leverage more than $10 million in public and private funding to support nearly 7,000 trainees for over 200 businesses.   

It has also developed a new metrics reporting framework to better track outcomes and prioritize investment in effective workforce models. All awardees are required to report standardized outcomes data throughout the grant period and beyond, including training completion and job placements rates, and will seek to track wage growth for participants, among other data. These metrics will allow ESD to evaluate the impact of funded programs and adapt its grantmaking strategy in future rounds to meet the needs of job seekers and employers. ESD is also charged with reporting on the success of other workforce programs funded through the FY 2023 budget and is collaborating with sister agencies to align metrics and report on the overall impact of the State’s investments across the workforce development ecosystem.

Additional information about OSWD’s progress, including active and upcoming projects and investments, are also available in the report.

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 www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov and www.esd.ny.gov.


Kristin Devoe | [email protected] | (518) 414-1087

ESD Press Office | [email protected] | (800) 260-7313