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Better workers for better jobs: How NY plans to improve its workforce

Published: Dec. 13, 2021 at 5:53 PM EST
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(WBNG) -- The New York State Assembly is looking for ideas on how to improve the state’s workforce development programs.

Several committees, including the Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce and Industry Committee, held a hearing Monday to determine the effectiveness of the programs already in place. This hearing is part of a series of hearings into this year’s fiscal budget and its impacts on several industries.

Officials said one of the main focuses of workforce development is how to improve the lives of marginalized communities, who they said have been especially impacted by the pandemic.

Community colleges are one of the main providers of workforce development programs, but experts told 12 News their numbers are on the decline.

“Much like most institutions, community colleges across the state and the nation, we have seen enrollments decline, and that’s been a steady trend and we anticipate that to likely remain true for another one to two years,” said Dr. DeAnna R. Burt-Nanna, President of Monroe Community College.

Officials said they saw a huge increase in the use of workforce development programs after the Great Recession in 2008; they add they hope to learn lessons that can apply to today.