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State Funding Available for Workforce Development Initiatives

New York State is investing $175 million in workforce development initiatives through a Consolidated Funding Application (CFA). The CFA process serves as a single point of entry for funding available from multiple state agencies and authorities. Funding is available for innovative and creative workforce development projects that address regional needs. Applications are being accepted on a continual basis.

The application process consists of two phases. In Phase 1, interested applicants submit a project plan to the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) in their region. The plan must include:

  • an overview of the project, including the workforce problem(s) faced by the region and how this project will address those problems;
  • a description of the role of local and regional partners (i.e., employers, educational, and community-based organizations) involved in the project;
  • the estimated cost of the project, with leveraged funds identified;
  • performance targets and any other information that describes how the project’s performance will be measured; and
  • a description of any public-private partnerships and/or expansions of work-based learning experiences.

REDCs will recommend projects for Phase 2 review in accordance with their region’s economic and workforce development plans. Each REDC has a strategic plan that can be found under the "Regions" tab here. Local Workforce Development Boards submit annual regional workforce plans for each REDC, which can be found here.

Applicants that advance to Phase 2 are notified by the State's Office of Workforce Development and provided with a Phase 2 CFA to complete and submit. An interagency committee made up of representatives from Empire State Development (ESD), the State University of New York (SUNY) and City University of New York (CUNY), and the New York State Department of Labor (DOL), along with other state agencies, will review and issue final approvals.

Successful applicants will have a "clearly articulated proposal that addresses a workforce problem faced by the region and a comprehensive implementation strategy." Examples of potential uses of funds include:

  • Workforce attraction;
  • Support for company-based projects;
  • Formation of multiple employer consortia – especially in a common sector or industry cluster – that can benefit from shared training and other workforce development activities;
  • Direct support of employers in industry sectors targeted by the REDC;
  • Funds to support workforce development and innovation in college and university settings;
  • Creation of opportunities for populations which traditionally face barriers to career advancement, including women and young workers, ex-offenders, veterans, immigrants, refugees, and persons with special needs;
  • Projects addressing worker dislocation due to foreign competition;
  • Projects addressing the opportunities and challenges posed by automation, artificial intelligence, and robotics;
  • Fees charged by approved training providers;
  • Educational activities that are part of job training and workforce preparation initiatives, particularly when focused on key local economic sectors;
  • Research on workforce needs, including employer surveys and market studies;
  • Development and operation of programs that award recognized credentials to program graduates (e.g., apprenticeships or certifications); and
  • Curriculum development for career- or job-specific purposes.

More information about the Workforce Development Initiative and a link to the application are available here. In addition, an overview of the application process is available in the Workforce Development Initiative Guidebook.

Contact: Karen Lipson, klipson@leadingageny.org, 518-867-8383 ext. 124