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Following a catastrophic year in which New York State lost more than a million jobs, it is abundantly clear that New York policymakers will need to put workers—and workforce training—at the center of its plans for an economic recovery. Indeed, the state’s unemployment rate today is more than double what it was immediately prior to the pandemic and among the highest in the nation. Although many jobs are likely to come back in the summer or fall after most state residents have received a COVID-19 vaccine, economists believe that several industries that employed large numbers of workers without a college credential will face a longer road to recovery, potentially deepening the economic pain for New Yorkers in communities already disproportionately impacted by pandemic job losses.
But what exactly should state policymakers do to help get New Yorkers back to work and prepare for a significantly changed post-pandemic job landscape? This virtual policy forum dove into that question and explored how the state can bolster workforce training in such challenging economic times. The event discussed questions including: Has the state allocated sufficient resources for the career training investments that will be required? Do other states and cities offer models for funding training programs that New York could replicate? What should employers, community colleges, and nonprofit workforce providers do—or do differently?
This symposium is made possible through generous support from Workforce Development Institute. We are also grateful for general support from The Clark Foundation, the Bernard F. and Alva B. Gimbel Foundation, the Altman Foundation, and ongoing support from a number of other philanthropic funders.
Center for an Urban Future is a catalyst for smart and sustainable policies that reduce inequality, increase economic mobility, and grow the economy in NYC.
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