MEMO OF SUPPORT: S.5397 (Benjamin)/A.9587 (Steck) – The New York YouthBuild Act
Date: June 7, 2021
MEMO OF SUPPORT
S.5397 (Benjamin)/A.9587 (Steck)
The New York YouthBuild Act
MACNY – the Manufacturers Association of Central New York supports S.5397 (Benjamin)/A.9587 (Steck), which would enact the “New York State YouthBuild Act.” The manufacturing industry in Central New York and throughout the state continues to struggle to fill open positions with a high skilled workforce. This legislation would provide for new investments and resources for workforce development in New York, with a priority on programs with proven outcomes that engage industry partners, such as YouthBuild.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly half of New York State residents earned less than $20 per hour. As we emerge from COVID, access to careers in manufacturing, with an average salary of $71,000 /year, is more important than ever. Manufacturing and high-tech fields will provide growing employment opportunities and skills-based training for employees with jobs that could significantly raise household income and improve overall quality of life.
Economic indicators already gauge that the number of employees required to fill open positions in high tech careers across the state is higher than prior to the pandemic. Recent events provide a unique opportunity for employers in these sectors to recruit unemployed and underemployed individuals into these high-growth careers.
The YouthBuild model, just like MACNY’s apprenticeship program, has proven to be successful at providing job training and educational opportunities for at-risk youth and others through effective vocational training in various industries, such as construction, manufacturing, healthcare, hospitality, and technology. YouthBuild also has provided significant support systems to participants, such as mentoring and civic engagement. This program has already been able to help hundreds of individuals in our community, but its reach could impact many more.
That is why MACNY supports this legislation and the proposed expansion of workforce development programs, such as YouthBuild.