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Senators Say New Funding Will Supercharge Mohawk Valley’s Workforce With New Training Program In Herkimer, Madison and Oneida Counties – Bringing Together Employers Who Make Products Critical To The Renewable Energy Sector With An Emerging Workforce That Needs Training To Fill The Jobs That Are Being Created

Schumer, Gillibrand: DOL Investment In Mohawk Valley Is A Win-Win – Boosting Workforce Training While Strengthening Local Economy

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $1,999,341 in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Building Pathways to Infrastructure Jobs Grant Program for the Workforce Development Board of Herkimer, Madison and Oneida Counties Inc. to train Mohawk Valley workers for in-demand, good-paying jobs across the region. The senators said the funding will bolster the Workforce Development Board to design, develop and grow a training program that prepares local job seekers for high-demand, high-quality career pathways.

“It is critical that the Mohawk Valley’s dedicated workers have the skills and resources needed to secure high-quality, good-paying jobs in high-demand fields like electric vehicles, renewable energy, semiconductor manufacturing, and more. That’s why I am so proud to deliver this nearly $2 million federal investment to supercharge the workforce across Herkimer, Madison and Oneida Counties to get the hands on training they need to build America’s future right here in Upstate NY,” said Senator Schumer. “Investing in tomorrow’s workforce today is how we can breathe new life into the Mohawk Valley’s manufacturing legacy, all while ensuring people can get the good paying jobs to build a good life for them and their families.”

“Investing in workforce training is vital to creating pathways to high-demand, high-quality jobs. This critical investment of nearly $2 million by the U.S. Department of Labor will help ensure that the Workforce Development Board of Herkimer, Madison and Oneida Counties has the resources to train and prepare job seekers to contribute to and grow the Central New York workforce,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This funding will also create a much-needed pipeline for rural and underserved communities to find jobs in advanced manufacturing, information technology and professional, scientific, and technical service occupations. I am proud to announce this funding and will continue to fight to create pathways to high-quality jobs across New York State.”

“We appreciate Senator Schumer’s support of our efforts to provide the workforce that our many employers need to grow a strong economic future here in our region.  Employers have reached out to the Workforce Development Board with their concerns, and this project was crafted in response to their needs so that they can continue to make first-class products that allow our region to be a competitor in the global economy,” said Emily Arthur, Chair of the Workforce Development Board of Herkimer, Madison, and Oneida Counties. “We recognize that not all populations have participated in the opportunities generated by our employers. This project seeks to forge enduring partnerships with community groups so that under-represented and historically marginalized populations in our region can have new opportunities to secure the training they need to embark upon careers that will provide good-paying jobs that will provide for their families.”

Schumer and Gillibrand said that the WDB’s Pathways to Infrastructure Careers project brings together employers who make products that are critical to the renewable energy sector with an emerging workforce that needs training to fill the jobs that are being created. This project is expected to train 300 participants from historically marginalized and underrepresented populations, including women in nontraditional occupations, people of color and refugees, for high demand jobs working with renewable and sustainable fuels, renewable energy storage, wind and solar energy production, electric motors, hybrid engines, battery manufacturing, electric vehicle manufacturing, and semiconductor manufacturing.

In collaboration with Mohawk Valley Community College, the project will develop a compressed-time training program called Fast Tack Plus, which will instruct students in the basic skills that employers want and trainees need before embarking on technical training. This project will also forge strong partnership with local community organizations, such as the Midtown Utica Community Center, Mohawk Valley Latino Center, and the NAACP. Employer partners like the Mohawk Valley Society of Human Resource Managers, MV Edge, and Indium Corp. will help create a robust pipeline connecting the region’s small employers with a diverse pool of workers so that trainees are able to launch careers with local employers, providing economic growth for the region, building stronger communities, and reducing unemployment.

The Senators said that the DOL funding, specifically awarded by the Employment and Training Administration’s Building Pathways to Infrastructure Jobs Grant Program, will help the Workforce Development Board of Herkimer, Madison and Oneida Counties prepare Mohawk Valley job seekers for high-quality career pathways in advanced manufacturing, information technology and professional, scientific, and technical service occupations. The training will support jobs in the renewable energy, transportation and broadband infrastructure sectors.