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I. State Vision 2 II. State Workforce Investment Priorities 5

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I.State Vision 2

II.State Workforce Investment Priorities 5

III.State Governance Structure [§112(b)(8)(A)] 7

IV.Economic and Labor Market Analysis [§112(b)(4)] 13

V.Overarching State Strategies 24

VI.Major State Policies and Requirements 32

VII.Integration of One-Stop Service Delivery 35

VIII.Administration and Oversight of Local Workforce Investment System 40

IX.Service Delivery 54

X.State Administration 87

XI.Assurances 94

Program Administration Designees and Plan Signatures 96

Appendix A – Public Comment 98

Describe, in one page or less, the process for developing the State Plan.

  1. Include (a) a discussion of the involvement of the Governor and the State Board in the development of the plan, and (b) a description of the manner in which the State Board collaborated with economic development, education, the business community and other interested parties in the development of the State Plan. [§112(b)(1)]

An initial draft State Plan was developed by the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) as the designated State agency responsible for overseeing implementation of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), working on behalf of the State Workforce Investment Board (SWIB). Its task was to incorporate ideas, concerns, and comments from a variety of entities. Input was sought from workforce development partners on the State and local level, including Chief Elected Officials (CEOs), business, labor, and Community Based Organizations (CBOs). The Plan was made available for public comment via the New York State Register, Internet and through a NYSDOL Technical Advisory. All input was reviewed, considered and incorporated as appropriate. The State Board, and its representatives from economic development, education and business majority, reviewed and finalized the plan. The Governor provided final approval and NYSDOL submitted the plan to the United States Department of Labor (USDOL).

  1. Include a description of the process the State used to make the Plan available to the public and the outcome of the State’s review of the resulting public comments. [(§§111(g) and 112(b)(9)]

The Plan was made available for public comment via the New York State Register, Internet and through a NYSDOL Technical Advisory. Comments have been incorporated into the Plan as Appendix A. Each of these comments was reviewed. Changes were considered and made where necessary and appropriate prior to presenting the State's WIA Plan to the State Board for final approval.

  1. State Vision

Describe the Governor’s vision for a statewide workforce investment system. Provide a summary articulating the Governor’s vision for utilizing the resources of the workforce system in support of the State’s economic development that address the issues and questions below. States are encouraged to attach more detailed documents to expand upon any aspect of the summary response if available. [(§112(a) and (b)(4)(A-C).
The inception of WIA provided New York State with an opportunity to begin the process of aligning the many facets of its workforce system to focus on improving the lives of New Yorkers, supporting our State’s businesses, and strengthening our economically-diverse communities. While that core mission has not changed, the methods by which the Governor and the SWIB have worked to ensure that the workforce system remains mission driven have changed.
Technology, globalization and deregulation are the powerful forces driving economic change and New York’s 10 different economic regions are experiencing and responding to this change in different manners. New York is committed to ensuring that its workforce is positioned to respond in this new economic reality – an environment of constant change, with very much shortened product life-cycles, and intense time-to-performance pressures. Our workforce must possess those broad skills that are valued in this economic world: flexibility, cross-training, multi-tasking, teaming, and project-based work. These changes all presume the ability for a worker to learn and re-skill continually throughout a career. New career structures and pathways have to be constructed outside individual employment organizations and across whole industrial sectors and regional labor markets to help meet these challenges.

  1. What are the State’s economic development goals for attracting, retaining and growing business and industry within the State? [§112(a) and (b)(4)(A-C)]

New York State’s economic development goals focus on ensuring that the State is at the forefront of the global high-tech revolution. Through an unprecedented investment of federal, state and private resources, New York has leveraged its economic development strategies around its Centers of Excellence—high tech research centers which will focus on critical emerging technologies that are anticipated to become economic and employment growth areas. Funded as part of the State’s 2002-2003 budget, the state-of-the-art research and development being conducted at the State’s academic institutions – in partnership with New York’s business community – is designed to produce tremendous economic benefits. Centers include:

  • Center of Bioinformatics at SUNY Buffalo whose mission specializes in drug design research, computational and three-dimensional visualization, product commercialization and workforce training.

  • Center of Environmental Systems in Syracuse whose mission focuses on indoor environments in the areas of indoor air quality, comfort, lighting, acoustics and intelligent controls.

  • Center of Infotonics in Greater Rochester whose mission focuses on creating technology transfer and pilot fabrication facilities for high-resolution imaging and ultra-fast communications devices that can be shared by Center partners to accelerate product development.

  • Center of Nanoelectronics at SUNY Albany will be the only university-based 300-millimeter computer wafer pilot prototyping facility in the world. It will provide critical laboratory and clean room space for research, build incubator space for high-tech company spin-offs, and create a workforce development program. The Center is also home to International SEMATECH North.

  • Center of Wireless Internet & Information Technology at SUNY Stony Brook whose mission will focus on large scale computing and data mining critical to genomics and other data intensive areas, Internet applications, wireless telecommunications, health care applications, and workforce development programs.

  1. Given that a skilled workforce is a key to the economic success of every business, what is the Governor’s vision for maximizing and leveraging the broad array of Federal and State resources available for workforce investment flowing through the State’s cabinet agencies and/or education agencies in order to ensure a skilled workforce for the State’s business and industry? [(§112(a) and (b)(4)(A-C)]

The Centers of Excellence have already created job growth opportunities across New York State. To close the gap between the existing and future needs of employers for skilled workers and the supply of New York residents prepared to meet that need will require an alignment of strategy, customers, performance measures and funding between and across all levels of the publicly funded workforce systems. Separate federal and state workforce-related funding streams present challenges to achieving a vision that strives for the highest customer satisfaction standards. Integration of programs and services will be key to maintaining productivity as well as improving the responsiveness of the publicly funded system. Integration in workforce development services will permit the unique needs of individuals from target populations to continue to be served in a coordinated manner across the various funding partners. The State’s workforce development system seeks to make services from multiple providers a straightforward and effective experience for job seekers, youth, and business. Our challenge is to maintain a performance accountability system for workforce development that is integrated across programs in an effort to achieve the vision of an integrated workforce development model that improves customer service.

  1. Given the continuously changing skill needs that business and industry have as a result of innovation and new technology, what is the Governor’s vision for ensuring a continuum of education and training opportunities that support a skilled workforce? [(§112(a) and (b)(4)(A-C)])

New York State is blessed with a wealth of education and training providers through a network of public and private universities, and community based organizations. This vast network serves as economic engines, as employers and research centers for communities and businesses. In addition to our State University of New York with its 64 geographically dispersed two and four year institutions, New York is home to over 100 private institutions of higher education and countless more proprietary schools—all of which strive to meet the academic and workforce needs of the State’s population.

Alignment around the State’s economic development objectives will help guide in the identification of objectives and strategies to meet the workforce development needs of the various labor markets. As communities and Local Workforce Investment Boards (LWIBs) seek to meet the demographic and economic challenges they are confronting, improved access and expanded partnerships with the education and training arena will be key to long-term success. A key component and role for the workforce system will be to actively encourage lifelong learning, re-skilling, and upgrading of the workforce through a system of creative incentives for human capital investments by individuals and employers.

Design and implementation of these incentives in conjunction with the employment and training community in New York will be essential if we are to be successful in providing opportunities to the emerging and existing workforce. Continued State investment in career mapping and career ladder strategies will help to ensure that the relevant players including education, workforce and business are part of the long-term solution. Faster, cheaper, more effective ways need to be found to build mind, not muscle, in the information age.

  1. What is the Governor’s vision for bringing together the key players in workforce development including business and industry, economic development, education, and the workforce system to continuously identify the workforce challenges facing the State and to develop innovative strategies and solutions that effectively leverage resources to address those challenges? [§112(b)(10)]

Fact-based decision making throughout the workforce system is essential if strategies to address our workforce needs are to be successful. In 2003, New York offered incentives to its 33 LWIBs to engage in community strategic planning. The State Board sought to empower New York’s local boards by providing financial incentives to bring together disparate regional interests in an effort to position the LWIBs as active, facilitative workforce change agents.

A system, which is capable of meeting the diverse needs of job-seeker and business customers alike, needs to collect and disseminate relevant, real-time labor market information; needs to convene regional interests around workforce challenges such as critical skill shortages and changing demographic trends; needs to facilitate dialog around emerging trends and community needs; and needs to leverage its resources to impact change at the local and regional level.

New York’s boards embraced the opportunity to engage in a broad regional dialog around current and future workforce trends. From these sessions evolved in-depth community planning with the development of strategic plans setting forth goals, objectives and strategies unique to those regional economies. The process helped position LWIBs in the arena where their expertise rests and to permit local boards to support and empower other community interests in their efforts to further the economic stability of their communities.

In a state as economically, geographically, and demographically diverse as New York, change is often best embraced and understood when developed from a ground-up approach. The Governor and State Board will continue to provide the incentives necessary to foster regional-based planning around workforce challenges and solutions. The Governor and State Board will continue to evolve their system of System Indicators to measure the impact of the State-level investment, as well as the response of the publicly funded workforce system to those locally-established goals and objectives.

  1. What is the Governor’s vision for ensuring that every youth has the opportunity for developing and achieving career goals through education and workforce training, including the youth most in need of assistance, such as out-of-school youth, homeless youth, youth in foster care, youth aging out of foster care, youth offenders, children of incarcerated parents, migrant and seasonal farmworker youth, and other youth at risk? [§112(b)(18)(A)]

For New York State to remain and enhance our competitive advantages, a committed effort across education and workforce partners to the needs of our emerging workforce is key. The Governor and State Board are committed to the integration of career guidance into school curricula. We must build on the success of effective dropout prevention and retrieval programs and help students and their families plan for the future beyond high school.

New York State and its communities invest over $38 billion in its elementary and secondary education system and yet many students continue to struggle to reach their potential. A continued commitment to increase the capacity of high schools to provide high–quality workforce education and training programs will be an essential component of our commitment to the success of our future workforce. The State Board will continue to explore opportunities that develop new programs and increase student enrollments in workforce training and career and technical education diploma programs, especially in high-demand industry clusters such as health care and information technology. The State Board will look for opportunities to improve the efficiency of student transitions by granting credit for prior learning, developing statewide agreements for transfer and articulation, and increasing the availability of applied degrees. The Board will continue its efforts to enhance “employability skills” training in workforce development programs through the Equipped for the Future Work Readiness Credential, a national project to develop a portable documentation of entry-level work skills. The Board will also work closely with the education community to highlight and replicate best practices from around the State and nation in career and technical education.

Ultimately New York’s economic future rests on the shoulders of its emerging workforce, regardless of their unique status or target population status. The Governor and State Board are committed to joining with the Board of Regents to ensure that academic preparedness translates into workforce preparedness. The State Board is committed to the high standards set by the Board of Regents and will work to align goals and objectives for mutual success.
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