Getting New Yorkers Back to Work: Senate Dems Unveil “Workforce Reinvestment Plan”

Velmanette Montgomery

June 02, 2011

Senate Dems Unveil “Workforce Reinvestment Plan” that Uses Budgetary Savings to
Support Job Creation and Unemployment Protection

(Albany, NY) With just nine days left in the legislative session, Senate Democrats are urging immediate action to get New York working again - announcing a workforce reinvestment plan to spur job creation and strengthen protections for the unemployed.
After leading the charge to make New York more affordable by tackling rising housing and energy costs, Senate Democrats set their sights on rebuilding the economy through increased employment opportunities and common-sense unemployment protections. Their workforce reinvestment plan identifies more than $200 million in budgetary savings from greater than expected Personal Income Tax revenues and reinvests $100 million to promote high-tech job training, harness the potential of alternative energy, and prohibit discrimination of the unemployed.
Senator Timothy Kennedy (D-Western New York), Ranking Member of the Committee on Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business said, “As our economy moves ahead along the road to recovery, we have identified a package of bills that will help us capitalize on the unique resources and promising opportunities that are found in every region of New York State. Western New Yorkers, in particular, are hungry for job creation and economic development. Our plan takes necessary steps to get our economy moving again – fostering an environment where ideas and research can turn into jobs, encouraging an entrepreneurial attitude, getting our workforce ready for jobs in the new economy and building on the successes and opportunities that are starting to grow throughout our state. The passage of these bills will help put New Yorkers back to work.”
Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D/I/WF-35th District) said, “With the State's unemployment rate at a staggering 7.7%, we must take action to get New Yorkers back to work. This package will open credit markets for small businesses, promote investment in technology, and break down barriers in the job market. It is an investment in our economy that will pay significant dividends in the future. One bill in particular, which I sponsor, would prohibit employers from discriminating against unemployed job seekers. This would create a fairer job market and level the playing field for those who have been hit hardest by the recession. It is critical that we pass this legislation and the other bills in this package so that we can place our economy on a sustainable path to recovery.”
Senate Democratic Leader John L. Sampson said, “Nothing is more important than creating jobs because New York works best when New Yorkers are working. Our job creation and unemployment protection plan is the smart investment and strong commitment we need to build a new economy and get New York working again.”
Senator Kevin Parker (D-Brooklyn) said, “One of my most important responsibilities as a Senator is to address the needs of the people of New York. We would be remiss if we ended session without addressing workforce development in our state.”
Senator Bill Perkins (D-Harlem) said, “The future of our economy depends on specialized markets that produce jobs and  unique high quality products. Products that will be available locally, but also nationally and internationally. We must encourage the production of high quality goods in our own backyard that will be used near and far.”
Senator Adriano Espaillat (D-Manhattan/Bronx) said, “We need to create an environment that welcomes job opportunities of the future, compatible with new technology and global demands. A great deal has been made about reducing the budget, cutting spending, and  restoring fiscal sanity. Ultimately, economic recovery will depend on the creation of well-paying jobs that can expand our economic base and make progress possible.”
Senator Shirley L. Huntley (D-Jamaica) said, “During these challenging economic times, getting New Yorkers back to work is of utmost importance. Prioritizing the creation and development of private sector businesses, helping small businesses flourish, and providing job training to residents will help our economy grow and provide families all across the state a means to prosper and succeed.”
o       $214 MILLION: Budgetary savings identified from the May 2011 Personal Income Tax Actual Revenue Exceeding Projected Revenue
o       $101 MILLION: Amount Dedicated to this Workforce Reinvestment Package
5351/Kennedy: Workforce Training Credit
- Provides for a corporate franchise tax credit for employee training expenses in an eligible business facility.
- Fiscal Implications: Approximately $500,000.
S3433/Parker: High Performance Computing Program
- Creates the High Performance Computing Program within NYSTAR that will select and fund projects to connect researchers and businesses with New York State's high performance computing resources.
- Fiscal Implications: $50 million (first year/start up).
S5407/Maziarz: Western New York Power Allocation Board
- Continues the process by which expansion and replacement power allocations are undertaken with the advice of economic development agencies in Western New York. 
- Fiscal Implications: None to the State.
S1768/Perkins: Niche Market Assistance Program
- Creates the niche market assistance projects for small businesses to identify and develop niche markets for their products in competitive environments.
- Fiscal Implications: $25 million.
S1864/Espaillat: Seed-NY
- Creates the Seed-NY investment fund; authorizes the Urban Development Corporation (UDC)/Empire State Development (ESD) to make awards in regional equity funds providing seed capital for early stage commercialization of technologies.
- Fiscal Implications: None to the State.
S5355/Kennedy: Green Jobs Workforce Subcommittee
- Establishes a subcommittee of the state workforce investment board to coordinate the state's efforts to develop and train a workforce in the green economy, conducting labor market data analysis, providing job training and education programs, among other efforts.
- Fiscal Implications: $500,000 annually
S2792/Parker: Alternative Finance Investment Bonds
- Creates an investment vehicle known as an Alternative Finance Investment Bond (AFIB), to increase Foreign Direct Investment in New York State.
- Fiscal Implications: None to the State.
S104/Montgomery: NYS Justice Reinvestment Fund and Program
- Establishes the New York State Justice Reinvestment Fund and Program to provide not-for-profit and faith based entities with funding to improve communities with a higher than normal criminal offender and ex-offender population.
- Fiscal Implications: $25 million.
S5468/Parker: Alternative Finance Investment Bonds
- Provides for the development of educational opportunity centers (EOCs) to provide programs and services to educationally and economically challenged communities.
- Fiscal Implications: None to the State.
S2825/Stewart-Cousins: Micro-Business Outreach Assistance Program
- Creates a means of supporting existing business outreach centers and creating additional centers that are serving micro enterprises to facilitate access to economic development counseling services and funds for individuals of communities that are geographically and socially isolated from the mainstream economy.
-Fiscal Implications: None to the State.
S5316/Stewart-Cousins: Nondiscrimination based on Employment Status
- Prohibits hiring discrimination by employers, employment agencies and licensing agencies based upon an individual's unemployment status by making it unlawful to refuse to hire someone based on their unemployment status.
- Fiscal Impact: None to the State.