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Home » Valentine's Day » Assembly task force issues report to address ‘middle-skills gap’ in NYS

Assembly task force issues report to address ‘middle-skills gap’ in NYS

After collecting feedback and data from stakeholders across New York, the Assembly Minority Task Force on Learning for Work released a report ahead of a budget hearing on Monday, January 31. The report addresses the Conference’s proposed Learning for Work Program and its role in mitigating the critical “middle-skills gap” hampering the labor force.

The Legislative Budget Hearings, focusing on several program areas within the Executive Budget Proposal, are intended to provide the appropriate legislative committees with public input.

“Our report takes a comprehensive look at the ways we can better provide students with the training and education needed to thrive in the modern labor force,” said Task Force Co-Chairman Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush (R,C,I-Black River). “Four-year degree programs are an important part of higher education, but they do not suit the needs of everyone. Under our plan, students would be encouraged to and supported in pursuing alternative career paths. This benefits both the students and the many organizations facing a professional-skill labor shortage.”

Among the solutions and recommendations detailed in the report on how to best educate and prepare a workforce for the modern economy include, but are not limited to:
  • Passing legislation enacting the “Learning for Work Program,” which is designed to train high-school aged New Yorkers for local jobs
  • Rebranding BOCES as Career Prep Centers and providing funding for marketing and signage replacement
  • Increasing the aidable salaries of CTE teachers, supervisors and other employees of a BOCES program that is an approved state expense for State School Aid
  • Enacting the Community College Merit and Mobility Scholarship program to incentivize attendance at state community colleges
  • Providing additional transportation options for students interested in BOCES, including expanding programs within a student’s own school to ensure greater access to work-based learning programs.

“There are a number of different paths to success in today’s workplace. As legislators, we must encourage and enable young men and women to explore their passions and interests and find a field that suits their abilities, in a setting that sets them up for success,” said Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay.

The report can be viewed here.