Griffo Bill Addressing "Middle-Skills" Gap Passes Legislature, Headed to the Governor



ALBANY – The New York State Senate has joined the Assembly in giving bipartisan support to a bill (S.5700/A7673) that would provide grants to the too-often overlooked training gap in advanced manufacturing and technology.

The bill was sponsored by Sen. Joseph A. Griffo, R-Rome, and Assemblyman Al Stirpe, D-North Syracuse. The bill passed the Senate Wednesday and the Assembly on March 6. It now awaits approval from Governor Cuomo.

“Manufacturers upstate tell me we've got a real skills mismatch. Jobs are available, but the applicants lack the skills. In these instances, job training funds are essential,” said Griffo. “Unfortunately, there were no federal or state funds being offered for training that required education beyond a high school diploma, but less than that of a four-year degree. This was hurting people who couldn't afford up to $5,000 for training in metal fabrication, machinery or computer programming, to name a few. This bill addresses that gap and provides needed funds to get people back to work.”

“As the economy improves, businesses, and particularly manufacturers, are facing a shortage of skilled workers," said Robert Simpson, President of The CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity. "These jobs exist throughout upstate communities. And we know all too well that too many people remain unemployed. Skills training is critical to bridging this gap and helping our manufacturers stay competitive while putting people back to work. We congratulate and thank Joe Griffo and the NYS Senate for recognizing this need and providing the resources to accelerate training opportunities for our region's residents.”

The funding for this legislation would come from the Empire State Development Corp., which will determine what will qualify as an “advanced manufacturing” certificate. Funding preference will be given to programs that foster local and regional partnerships between public and private entities.