Empire State Development Releases Report Outlining First Year Accomplishments of the Office of Strategic Workforce Development

Empire State Development Releases Report Outlining First Year Accomplishments of the Office of Strategic Workforce Development

Last Year, Governor Kathy Hochul announced an historic investment of $350 million for workforce development and the creation of the Office of Strategic Workforce Development (OSWD) within New York State’s economic development agency, Empire State Development (ESD). This investment represented a decisive shift toward a state workforce development strategy that is laser-focused on connecting New Yorkers to quality, in-demand jobs in the state’s fastest-growing industries. Empire State Development (ESD) contracted HR&A, in partnership with Jobs for the Future (JFF), to support the development of a comprehensive statewide strategy for the newly established Office of Strategic Workforce Development (OSWD).   


HR&A and JFF worked with ESD leadership to establish priorities and build consensus with a multitude of internal and external stakeholders, analyze statewide economic and employment trends and existing workforce strategies; develop prioritized strategies and best practices; and establish clear metrics for success that can both guide prospective grantees in their programming and provide a platform for OSWD to ensure the state’s workforce development ecosystem has maximum impact.  


To guide its investment, OSWD  identified 7 statewide high-growth target industries representing New York’s most critical growth sectors and additional regional priority sectors. 


    1. Advanced Manufacturing and Materials: R&D-driven manufacturing such as the production of electrical equipment, computers, and machinery as well as processing of glass, metals, chemicals, and minerals.  
    2.  Biotech and Life Sciences: Industries that research, develop, and manufacture health care products and equipment and pharmaceuticals.  
    3.  Cleantech and Renewable Energy: Industries that generate, transmit, and store clean energy; manufacture the key components for clean energy generation; and retrofit buildings and infrastructure to incorporate modern technology.  
    4. Construction: Industries related to the construction of buildings, civil engineering, and specialty trades. 
    5. Electronics and Optics, Photonics, and Imaging (OPI): Computer, electronics, and chemical manufacturing industries (including semiconductor manufacturing) as well as related professional services.  
    6. Film and TV Production and Post-Production: Motion picture, television, sound recording, and other industries involved in video and audio production and post-production.  
    7. Software and Digital Media: Software development, data processing, information services, and telecommunication (including broadband) industries. 


ESD’s Office of Strategic Workforce Development released their annual report highlighting the significant strides made towards creating a more robust and inclusive workforce in New York State. Over the past six months, OSWD published three grant programs and has disbursed $13 million dollars in funding across New York to 22 innovative training programs in the first two rounds of its grantmaking process. These resources will help train more than 6,600 New Yorkers for more than 200 businesses and industry partners. 


See ESD’s press release announcing the report here. You can read the full report and learn more about the findings and recommendations here.