April 8, 2004
Governor announces new workforce-development grants for manufacturers
Governor George Pataki has announced a new $19.5 million workforce development program for manufacturers designed to offer new job-training support so that small, medium-sized, and large manufacturing firms can upgrade the skills of new and incumbent workers.
The Governor first announced his plans to create a new job-training program for manufacturers in his State of the State in January.
Deadlines for grants in two categories are within several weeks.
"Ensuring that our state's manufacturers can create new jobs and have the best trained workforce in America must be one of our highest priorities," Governor Pataki said. "Our new NY SMART initiative will provide New York's manufacturers with the support they need for job training, which will increase their competitiveness, expand their businesses and most importantly create new jobs for New Yorkers."
He noted that access to a highly skilled workforce is a top consideration in manufacturers' site-location decisions.
"Governor Pataki's NY SMART initiative is especially valuable because it will enhance the competitiveness of manufacturers and manufacturing workers already here and fighting to keep New York's manufacturing sector competitive," said Daniel B. Walsh, president/CEO of The Business Council.
"We know that manufacturers, to remain competitive, must constantly upgrade their technologies, and it is more important than ever to keep employee training at the cutting edge. These grants are ideal because manufacturers can use them flexibly to design and deliver programs that reflect their unique needs."
The program is one of five parts of the Governor's plan, also outlined in the State of the State message, to strengthen New York's manufacturers. Other parts of this plan include the Governor's new workers' compensation reform proposal, which he announced in March at The Business Council's Small Business Day, and his support for a single-sales factor tax reform for manufacturers. The Council supports both proposals.
The other parts of the Governor's plan are the extension of the state's successful Power for Jobs program, which offered reduced-rate power to employers that use it to create or retain jobs, and creation of a new manufacturing assistance program to coordinate federal, state, and local assistance programs and to help match New York's manufacturers with appropriate research and development grant funding.
The New York Skilled Manufacturing Resource Training program will include grants in two categories:
SMART 100 grants are now available, with $11 million in
allocated funding, to assist manufacturing firms employing
100 or more workers. These firms can apply for worker training
grants of up to $200,000. To qualify, a firm must be a private-sector,
for-profit manufacturing business with a current business
plan in place, at least 100 or more employees working in
New York, and with headquarters or at least one plant in
New York State at the time of the proposal.
Training may take the form of traditional classroom instruction, distance learning, in-house courses and computer-based lessons. Contracts will be awarded for a period of one year and applications must be received no later than 5 p.m. on May 12, 2004.
grants are available with a total of $8.5 million allocated
for manufacturing firms employing fewer than 100 workers.
Under the guidelines of SMART grants, these firms can apply
for grants of up to $50,000. To be eligible, a firm must
be a private-sector, for-profit manufacturing business with
fewer than 100 employees working in New York State and with
headquarters or at least one physical location in New York
State at the time of the application.
To qualify for an award, management staff must attend a free Department of Labor-sponsored seminar on Lean Manufacturing or Six Sigma, or have received equivalent training within a year. Contracts will be awarded for a period of one year and applications must be received no later than June 30, 2005.
Documents and details pertaining to the NY SMART grants can be found on Workforce New York's Web site at www.workforcenewyork.com. In addition, interested firms can call 1-800-HIRE-992 for more information.