Governor Cuomo Announces Applications Open for Western New York Workforce Development Challenge

December 18, 2019

Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation Will Contribute Additional $1.5M To Fund

Buffalo Billion Initiative Will Ensure Western New York's Workforce Pipeline Meets Industry Demands

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced today that applications are open for Round 2 of the Western New York Workforce Development Challenge.  To further build on the program's first-round success, the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation also announced an additional $1.5 million contribution, for a fund total of $11.5 million. The Workforce Development Challenge, a Buffalo Billion initiative, ensures the region's workforce pipeline is responding to industry demands by promoting and investing in scalable approaches to workforce training for underserved populations. 

"Connecting Western New York's economic development efforts with workforce training will help employers in our growing industries have access to the high-quality, high-skilled labor needed to fill job openings and be competitive," said Governor Cuomo. "The significant investments we are making in focused programs like this ensures that we will meet the needs of a growing economy."

"We are re-imagining workforce development in an innovative way to meet the needs of employers who are looking to hire for jobs available now as well as those that will be filled by the next generation," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "The Western New York Workforce Development Challenge is helping to ensure we close the skills gap and provide New Yorkers with job training and education they need to thrive in the 21st century. The effort builds on our $175 million Workforce Development Initiative working to meet businesses' needs for economic growth and success, and provide financial stability and dignity to New Yorkers and their families."

Read the full press release here.