2007-10-25 / From The Mayor...

From The Mayor's Desk ...

Job Training Program For Small Businesses Is Launched

A cabinet-making company in the South Bronx, a dairy in Southeast Queens, an information technology firm in Manhattan. At first blush, they might not seem to be very much alike. But they do have something in common: They're all growing small businesses - and to keep expanding, they need more skilled workers.

Lots of other businesses in our city are in the same boat. That's good news for New Yorkers who are looking for good jobs at good wages- if they have the necessary skills. So to help both those employers and those workers, City government is now in-vesting record funding in job training. And for the first time, we're also letting employers tailor such training to meet their particular needs.

Here's what's happening. Starting this month, we're allocating more than $4.2 million in 'NYC Business Solutions Training Funds.' For the first time, we're adding some $3 million in City funds to about $1.2 million in Federal 'Workforce Invest-ment Act' money. This will dramatically increase the number of people getting job training. What's more, this job-training money is going directly to participating employers without the kind of restrictions on how it can be spent that the Federal government has mandated in the past. Employers will also contribute substantial funding to pay for training. In return, they'll have greater flexibility in determining what skills both new and current employees learn. And after all: Who knows better than they do exactly what their workforce needs are?

For example, take Hendrickson Custom Cabinetry in the South Bronx. It's one of the businesses that have recently received NYC Business Solutions Training funds, and I had the pleasure of visiting it and meeting its owners last week. Using these funds, the firm will train workers in new furniture and cabinet design software, and in construction project management. Then there's Elmhurst Dairy in Southeast Queens. It wants to expand deliveries. So about 40 of its employees will get help obtaining commercial driver's licenses; as they do, the dairy has agreed to fill their old jobs with unemployed neighborhood residents. And private employers aren't the only ones taking advantage of this new program. The Health and Hospitals Corporation will also teach some of its clerks, technicians, and administrative aides to become the licensed practical nurses for whom there's a growing need in our public hospitals.

This expanded NYC Business Solutions Training initiative will pay off for everyone. More employers will get workers with better skills. Parti-cipating employees can also expect to see their wages climb significantly. That's going to help them create better futures for their families, and make the American Dream a reality in their lives. Our whole city will benefit too, because small businesses provide half our private sector jobs. So when they flourish, it's a gain for our entire economy.

If you're an interested small business owner, call 311 or go to the City's web site at nyc.gov for more information about NYC Business Solutions Training Funds; you've got until Oct. 15th to apply for the next round of funding. We know you're working hard to make your business grow- and we're ready to help you train the skilled workers that you need.

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