Congressmen Bill Owens (NY-23) and Paul Tonko (NY-21) announce today that the Fulton, Montgomery and Schoharie Counties (FMS) Workforce Development Board has received a grant to help fill job openings in the region through on-the-job training programs. The award, provided in the amount of $2,999,970, is made possible by the United States Department of Labor's Workforce Innovation Fund. FMS was one of just twenty-six grants awarded nationwide.
"This grant represents a direct investment in the future economic development of our region," Owens said."We have more than 3,000 unfilled jobs in New York's 23rd Congressional District -- 70 in Fulton County -- and it is critical that the unemployed have the opportunity to cultivate a skill set that will help them qualify for those positions. This funding is a big step toward putting New Yorkers back to work."
"By investing in science, technology, engineering and math training, we not only ensure that those without work are better prepared to re-enter the workforce, but also that employers have access to the qualified workers they need to better compete and grow their business," Tonko said. "Today's announcement does just that, by creating a talent pipeline in the Capital Region that has the skills, talent and retention rates necessary to better compete in the innovation economy."
In recent months, Owens and Tonko have both met with several workforce development boards, including FMS Workforce Development Board Executive Director Gail Breen. Breen said:"By creating a flexible talent pipeline system that links our workforce system, employers, educators and workers through a two-step career plan, this grant provides an excellent opportunity for disadvantaged youth, low income adults and dislocated workers to prepare for and enter careers in STEM-related fields,and we are thrilled to be able to help the employers of our region access the quality workforce they need to grow and thrive in a global economy."
One of the overarching goals of the Workforce Innovation Fund is to better assess the effectiveness of each workforce strategy, so all grants include an evaluation component. By evaluating projects, the fund will significantly increase the body of knowledge about the most effective strategies in workforce development.