New York State Workforce Development Initiative

New York State, under Governor Cuomo, has recently established a $175 million Workforce Development Initiative. We encourage you to avail yourself of this new initiative and occasion to demonstrate the critical role of the arts and culture in the New York State economy. Read below for more information about the program and details on an upcoming information session.

APPLY NOW: New $175M New York State Workforce Development Initiative
Governor Cuomo’s new Workforce Development Initiative (WDI) will invest $175 million to support strategic regional efforts that:

  • Meet businesses’ short-term workforce needs and long-term industry needs;
  • Improve regional talent pipelines;
  • Enhance the flexibility and adaptability of local workforce entities;
  • Expand workplace learning opportunities.

Focus will be on regionally significant industries in emerging fields with growing demands for jobs. Funds will also support efforts to improve the economic security of women, young workers, and other populations that face significant barriers to career advancement.
Regional Economic Development Councils (REDCs) will play a critical role in recommending projects in accordance with their region’s economic and workforce development plans. WDI funds are available through CUNY, SUNY, Empire State Development, the NYS Department of Labor and NYSERDA.
There is no deadline to apply.
NYSCA encourages our grantees to review the WDI Guidebook, which includes FAQs, here, and to review the guidelines to seek out opportunities, including but not limited to the following, for which you may be eligible.
NYS Department of Labor – Workforce Development Initiatives Program (Page 18)

  • Funding Available: Up to $25 million
  • Provides occupational skills training to existing employees, new hires and unemployed/underemployed workers
  • The opportunity will prioritize programs serving veterans, individuals with disabilities, formerly incarcerated individuals, longterm unemployed, and TANF and SNAP recipients.

Pay for Success Program (Page 24)

  • Funding Available: Up to $51 million
  • Funding will be provided to entity providing the training or employing an individual upon certification that predetermined milestones of performance were met and certified by the Office for Workforce Development
  • Awards grants, on a competitive basis commensurate with Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) priorities, to provide job linkage, training, and/or employment services to individuals
  • The opportunity will prioritize programs serving veterans, individuals with disabilities, formerly incarcerated individuals, longterm unemployed, and TANF and SNAP recipients.
  • Eligible applicants will be training providers with two or more employees (or equivalent), organizations, nonprofits, and local governments that have the capacity to manage transformative workforce projects in the region, business enterprises operating or planning to operate in NYS, and a demonstrated record of securing employment for clients and program participants
  • Applicants should propose projects that connect job seekers to employment and provide training, educational, or other services to job seekers with the ultimate outcome of employment for the job seeker.
  • Applicants should have funds on hand to support the project through the end of agreed initial milestone, offer one year contracts, and receipt of award is contingent upon successful completion of predetermined performance targets.

Employee Training Incentive Program (Page 15)

  • Funding Available: Up to $5 million
  • Provides refundable tax credits to New York State employers for procuring skills training that upgrades or improves the productivity of their employees
  • Businesses can also receive tax credits for approved internship programs that provide training in advanced technology, life sciences, software development or clean energy.

Upcoming New York City WDI Information Session
Tuesday, August 20, 2019
9:30am – 12:30pm
New York Genome Center
101 Avenue of the Americas
Come Learn More About:

  • Governor Cuomo’s recently established $175 million Workforce Development Initiative (WDI)
  • How the CUNY/SUNY, Empire State Development, NYS Department of Labor and NYSERDA programs can support the development of a skilled workforce pipeline
  • NYC's economic & workforce priorities
  • Successful programs & partnership models