Office of Strategic Workforce Development

Fostering industry-driven training of in-demand skills and direct job placement

In April 2022, Governor Kathy Hochul announced a new investment of $350 million for workforce development and the creation of the Office of Strategic Workforce Development (OSWD) within Empire State Development (ESD), a new division charged with better aligning workforce development efforts with the needs and priorities of today's employers. 

ESD is utilizing its existing relationships with employers, working closely with the state’s 10 Regional Economic Development Councils (REDCs), and engaging other State agencies and regional experts to drive Governor Hochul’s vision of creating industry-driven training that provides in-demand skills and direct job placement. Investments will be focused on targeted economic sectors identified as ripe for growth and via the tradable sectors identified in each of the state’s 10 regions. Through OSWD, ESD will help create new economic opportunities for unemployed, underemployed and underrepresented workers, while simultaneously meeting the labor needs of the state’s highest-growth industry sectors.  

On October 17, 2022, Governor Hochul announced the launch of New York State’s $150 million workforce development grant programs, administered by OSWD, that will support employer-driven, high-skilled workforce training programs. The first round of awards was announced in December 2022, and the second round was announced in March 2023. Going forward, additional awards will be announced on a quarterly basis.

In April 2023, OSWD released its first progress report, highlighting progress to date and outlining some of the work ahead. Press release with executive summary and full report can be found here.

Click here to view the OSWD one-pager.

OSWD Workforce Development Grant Programs

Round 4 of the OSWD grant programs is open. Updated guidelines and materials can be found on the program pages below. Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis and awards will be announced every three months. The deadline for Q2 of 2023 is Friday, June 30, 2023, 11:59 PM.

Workforce Development Capital Grant Program

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Pay for Performance Grant Program: Operating Grants

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Pay for Performance Grant Program: Capacity-Building Awards

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Frequently Asked Questions

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New York State's Workforce Development Investments

Find out more about New York State's investment in workforce development. A holistic approach will foster collaboration among state agency partners, industry, employers, higher ed, and workforce trainers.

Contact the Office of Strategic Workforce Development