New State Workforce Development Office


On April 26, 2022, Governor Kathy Hochul announced the creation of the New York State Office of Strategic Workforce Development, which will be charged with improving the State's workforce development programs and practices to better align with the needs and priorities of today's employers.

The Governor first proposed the new office in her State of the State address earlier this year and committed funding that was approved in the FY2023 budget.

The $350 million investment in state funding will support wide-reaching and coordinated investment in workforce development across state agencies and authorities and includes $150 million in multi-year funding for new grant programs that will primarily support employer-driven, high skilled workforce training programs.

"New Yorkers are still struggling to find work and opportunity due to the economic disruption of the pandemic," Governor Hochul said. "This issue is personal to me - I've seen steel plants close leaving workers with nowhere to go. With our brand-new Office of Strategic Workforce Development, we are doubling down on our commitment to help train and connect New Yorkers with the good-paying jobs of the future."

Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President and CEO-designate Hope Knight said, "The new Office of Strategic Workforce Development will optimize ESD's relationships with the state's industries and employers to generate new opportunities for New Yorkers and encourage regional economic growth. Together with our State University system and our agency partners, we can provide businesses with a talent pipeline to catalyze new investments throughout the state."

The Office of Strategic Workforce Development will function under Empire State Development (ESD), marking a decisive change in workforce development policy to one that is laser-focused on supporting the labor needs of the state's highest-growth sectors while producing new economic opportunity for un/underemployed and underrepresented workers.

ESD will manage the Office in close coordination with agency partners, including the Department of Labor, the State University of New York, and the City University of New York, among others with significant expertise in and a track record of delivering successful workforce training programs. The Office will leverage ESD's relationships with employers throughout the state and its standing as a trusted partner in the business community to help identify employer needs early and train New Yorkers to meet those needs.