ALBANY, NY (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – New York Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced on Friday, September 30 that three Central New York counties will receive federal funding to help grow their workforces.

The senators announced just under $2 million in funding from the US Department of Labor for the Workforce Development Board of Herkimer, Madison, and Oneida Counties. The money is aimed at training workers across the Mohawk Valley for in-demand, good-paying jobs through a new program designed by the Board.

“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 said in a statement. “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.”

The project is expected to train 300 participants from marginalized and underrepresented populations for high-demand jobs working with:

  • renewable and sustainable fuels
  • renewable energy storage
  • wind and solar energy production
  • electric motors
  • hybrid engines
  • battery, electric vehicle and semiconductor manufacturing

The project will also develop a compressed-time training program to instruct students in the basic skills employers want before beginning technical training. The project also aims to partner with local community organizations, such as the Midtown Utica Community Center, Mohawk Valley Latino Center and the NAACP.

Employer partners such as MV Edge and Indium Corporation will also help in the project by helping to create a pipeline to connect employers with a diverse pool of workers. Trainees could then launch careers with those local employers, which the Senators said should help with economic growth and reducing unemployment.

“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,” Emily Arthur, Chair of the Workforce Development Board of Herkimer, Madison, and Oneida Counties, said in a statement. “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.”