(Albany, NY) - New York State Senator Chris Jacobs (60th SD) announced today the passage of his bill (S. 2134A) designed to increase the number of high school students pursuing job opportunities in the manufacturing sector. This bill would assist high school guidance counselors to inform their students about apprenticeship, pre-apprenticeship and career and technical education opportunities in the manufacturing and skilled trades.
“There are approximately 100,000 manufacturing and skilled trade jobs that go unfilled across New York State, weakening the ability of our manufacturers to compete and hurting our economy,” said Senator Jacobs. “These vacancies represent lost opportunities for meaningful and productive careers that could be salvaged if they are introduced to the next generation of workers at a younger age,” Jacobs added.
The bill also requires the Education Commissioner to work in concert with the Department of Labor and pupil personnel advocates in developing the guidelines and implementing the outreach to students. The Labor Department estimates that approximately 21,000 people will be retiring from the workforce between now and 2020, adding to the severity of the workforce development challenge.
Jacobs, who chairs the Senate’s Task Force on Workforce Development, said his legislation was part of a broader workforce development initiative aimed at boosting the state’s economy by training job seekers and existing employees for the employment opportunities that are in demand. The package of bills advanced by the task force are designed to eliminate the skills gap through education investments and advance networks between workers and job creators. They are complimented by a record funding level of $260 million in this year’s enacted budget for dozens of job training and workforce development initiatives, nearly all of which were also advocated for by the Workforce Development Task Force.
“Workforce development is one of the most significant and complicated issues facing communities all across New York State,” said Senator Jacobs. “If we are going to succeed in the extremely competitive environment of attracting private sector investment and growing our economy, than we must make the kinds of strategic investments and develop the innovative programs that are included in the legislation we approved today,” Jacobs concluded.