Testimony provided to the Joint Legislative Budget Hearing on Workforce Development and Labor
Date: March 1, 2023
Thank you for the opportunity to submit testimony on the 2023-24 Executive Budget Proposal. My name is Michael Frame, and I serve as the Senior Vice President of Workforce Development & Chief Operations Officer for MACNY, The Manufacturers Association. In this role, I oversee the Manufacturers Intermediary Apprenticeship Program (MIAP). Across the state, MIAP supports companies in the recruitment, upskilling, and retention of workers by acting as an intermediary and group sponsor to help them succeed in utilizing the New York State Registered Apprenticeship program. MIAP, in partnership with NYS Department of Labor and SUNY, is also supported by our partners from the Manufacturers Alliance of New York that are located across the state.
We are extremely disappointed the Governor cut the entire $1.75 million funding amount for MIAP especially since the Governor touted this program in her December 2022 press release on New York State Apprenticeships and spoke of its success.
Since the program’s inception in 2016, MIAP continues to support access to registered apprenticeship for all individuals, regardless of their work experience or academic qualifications, while helping employers meet their workforce needs to grow and thrive in New York State. This “earn and learn” model provides equitable upward mobility for employees by combining career related education with on-the-job training.
Manufacturing and other high-tech fields emerged from the pandemic with significantly increased employment needs, requiring additional investment in apprenticeships to meet these increasing demands to help grow our economy and reshore American manufacturing.
Thanks to the leadership of the State Legislature, the 2022-23 State Budget recognized the value of registered apprenticeship as a proven pathway, providing $1.75 million to fund MIAP and apprenticeships in high-demand and high-skill manufacturing jobs across the state. With this funding, we continue to increase our outreach, expand industries served, add new registered apprenticeship trades, and expand into new populations and regions.
In addition to state funding, many of our members participate in the Empire State Apprenticeship Tax Credit. This tax credit has proven to be a valuable component for manufacturers to attract apprentices and connect them with a mentor as well. We are strong supporters of this program and are thankful it has been extended to 2026.
MACNY, and our partners across the state – The Center for Economic Growth (CEG), The Buffalo Niagara Manufacturing Alliance (BNMA), The Rochester Technology and Manufacturing Association (RTMA), The Council of Industry, IgniteLI, and The Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier (MAST) – have used registered apprenticeship to raise the skill levels of manufacturing workers and create distinctive career pathways, while providing individuals, especially those from diverse populations, the necessary training and education to succeed. In fact, of the over 300 apprentices served last year, more than 59 percent were from an underrepresented population.
At the end of January, we launched the MIAP program in partnership with the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce so that advanced manufacturing registered apprenticeship programs will be more accessible in the New York City area. We have identified over 50 companies that could benefit from the program in Brooklyn alone. We are working with the Queens Chamber of Commerce on an apprenticeship accelerator event later this month and have meetings planned with local community colleges and organized labor to help promote the program as well.
We have a similar effort underway in the Mohawk Valley, working with Mohawk Valley Community College, Mohawk Valley EDGE, the Griffiss Institute and others to expand registered apprenticeships throughout this advanced manufacturing corridor – especially in its emerging semiconductor and nanotechnology cluster.
In fact, MACNY has served as a partner in a U.S. Department of Labor funded program that utilizes a competency-based approach to registered apprenticeship to meet the unique needs of this technology sector. This comprehensive approach and infrastructure support Registered Apprenticeship for the semiconductor and nanotechnology sectors and broadens the talent pipeline by creating access to underrepresented populations.
As semiconductor companies and their supply chains announce their investment to build or expand in New York State, including Micron’s historic investment to build a chip manufacturing plant in Central New York, MIAP will continue to connect individuals looking for employment and the high-paying jobs in emerging industries of the future.
MACNY and the Alliance partners continue to focus on programming that provides pathways to youth to succeed outside the traditional collegiate route. Our Alliance partner in Rochester, RTMA, through the Finger Lakes Youth Apprenticeship Program served over 200 students with 100 employers in 2022. MACNY recently announced a pilot youth program focused on students and families from underrepresented communities. This pilot cohort involves more than 40 students at 30 different employers throughout Onondaga, Cayuga, and Oswego counties, and the City of Syracuse School District.
MACNY’s primary and secondary school outreach is led through Partners for Education & Business, Inc. (PEB), a 501c3 non-profit organization with 30 years of experience. PEB closes the gap between education and industry, with a focus on the STEM career initiatives in the community. PEB engages local employers across industry sectors in work-based learning programming including facility tours, job shadows, internships, professional workshops and guest speakers. Since its inception, PEB has been at the nexus of education and the STEM industry. PEB works directly with teachers and program coordinators to support work-based learning experiences of CTE, P-TECH, and Early College Scholars programs in urban, suburban, and rural K-12 systems. Through associated activities, PEB supports the CNY Technology Sector and the CNY STEM Hub work increasing awareness of STEM education and STEM careers in the region. Over the past two years, nearly 4,500 students and educators across 20 school districts have participated in PEB programming.
MACNY’s efforts in workforce development extends to underrepresented populations in advanced manufacturing, as well. Working with the Developmental Disabilities Planning Council and the University of Rochester, Project SEARCH looks to combat the unemployment rate for individuals who identify with a disability. It builds upon the Project SEARCH model, utilized by high schools nationally, and creates pathways into advanced manufacturing for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities.
Additionally, MACNY was selected to partner on Operation Next, a U.S. Department of Defense Skill Bridge program to provide training to active-duty service members in their last six months of service, the Army National Guard, and U.S. Army Reserve, in identifying advanced manufacturing positions. This program is also available to spouses and dependents of service members since they often struggle to find employment due to the transient nature of a military lifestyle. The four tracks of training include: welding, Computer Numerical Control (CNC), Industrial Maintenance, and Robotics technician. Once training is complete, the program assists these individuals in finding employment. Since its launch this fall, MACNY has partnered with the Jefferson-Lewis BOCES in Watertown on a CNC pilot program and with Mohawk Valley Community College to provide Electrical Maintenance Technician training with new expansion
programs in the works for later this spring.
Over the past year, we have leveraged these programs to grow registered apprenticeship in advanced manufacturing across New York State. On behalf of MACNY, and the Manufacturers Alliance, thank you to the Legislature for your continued support and commitment to MIAP, which has allowed us to maintain and expand this successful and effective program to meet the ever-growing workforce challenges across
However, as New York State grows its advanced manufacturing capabilities, it faces the reality that the talents of our workers will be even more in-demand. Last year, the New York Times reported that by 2025, the United States will need at least 300,000 workers for the semiconductor and nanotechnology fields alone*. If we are to meet this challenge, we will need even more pathways to upskill New Yorkers through effective programs like MIAP.
Therefore, we respectfully request restoration of state funding in the amount of $1.75 million to impact the lives of more New Yorkers through this critical program. Thank you for the opportunity to provide testimony and for your attention to this matter and support of manufacturing in the State of New York.