Ramos: Assembly Advances ‘NY@Work’ Plan to Create Jobs, Help Business Thrive
March 8, 2004
Assemblyman Phil Ramos (D-Central Islip) announced today the release of a comprehensive plan called NY@Work that would create tens of thousands of jobs, help businesses, and leave New Yorkers better prepared to compete in today’s high-tech economy. "The Assembly is earmarking nearly $525 million for the plan, which will help bring a focus that has been sorely lacking under the governor’s policies to New York’s economic development efforts and take advantage of our many strengths – a strong education system, a skilled workforce, a tradition of manufacturing, and diverse regional economies," Ramos said. Redirecting the state’s failed approach to economic development "Had the state’s employment grown at the same rate as the nation’s between January 1995 and December 2003, New York would have created 432,900 additional jobs," Ramos said. To improve the accountability and efficiency of the state’s economic development efforts, the Assembly’s plan would create an Economic Policy Coordination Board to develop a long-overdue strategic plan for economic growth and oversee the state’s investments in research and development projects. It would also replace the current Empire State Development Board with a new, three-member Economic Development Control Board – providing the governor, the Assembly Speaker, and the Senate Majority Leader each with one appointed member. Reforming the Empire Zone program When the Empire Zone program is being run efficiently, it is an effective economic development program. Unfortunately, the current administration has mismanaged the program, and took nine months before even proposing a solution that fell far short of what is needed. The Assembly’s plan would make major changes to improve performance, ensure appropriate oversight and management, and make sure the most distressed areas of the state get the help they need. Developing a workforce for the future Another Assembly initiative, Expand Local Economies through Vocational and Technical Education (ELEVATE NEW YORK), will help the state invest in its workforce by:
- supporting school-to-work programs that help students by providing career orientation and work experience;
- investing in vocational education and support programs that train workers in the changing technology in trade industries;
- initiating a new program called "Experience and a Degree" which promotes the use of internships that help bridge the classroom to the workplace;
- backing Educational Opportunity Centers which provide job training and educational services to roughly 20,000 low-income New Yorkers; and
- supporting apprenticeships that provide on-the-job training and access to the skilled trades.