ULSTER COUNTY OFFICE OF EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING PARTICIPATES IN $4 MILLION EXPANSION OF FEDERALLY-FUNDED ‘JOBS WAITING’ WORKFORCE PROGRAM, WHICH NOW INCLUDES ADVANCE MANUFACTURING, BIOTECHNOLOGY, AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SECTORS

Grant Provides Work Tryouts, On-the-Job Training Opportunities and Support Services

(Kingston, New York, May ____, 2018) – High-wage, high-skilled jobs are plentiful in the Hudson Valley, yet they are not being filled by employers. The Ulster County Office of Employment and Training is pleased to announce that thanks to the $4 million expansion of the federally-funded Jobs Waiting Workforce Program, participants will now have access to training in the areas of advance manufacturing, biotechnology, and information technology sectors. This expansion follows the success of the Jobs Waiting Program model, which has placed over 260 long-term unemployed individuals into skilled healthcare jobs across the region. The Ulster County Career Center’s new program is set to begin in Kingston on May 22nd. There are still select openings available for participants. Since the program begins next week, please immediately contact Lisa Berger, Director of the Office of Employment and Training at 845-340-3170 if interested in participating.

“Good-paying jobs are available in Ulster County, and the ‘Jobs Waiting’ Program helps ensure that they are filled,” said Ulster County Executive Michael P. Hein. “We are invested in bolstering an already highly-skilled and educated workforce in the County. `Jobs Waiting’ will greatly benefit our workforce here, and across the Hudson Valley, and we are excited about this collaboration.”

“Our young adults are our most valuable resource, and we want them to succeed right here in the Hudson Valley,” says Lisa Berger, Director, Ulster County Office of Employment and Training. “Over the past two years, the Jobs Waiting Program, a federally-funded initiative, trained and placed nearly 300 long-term unemployed individuals in the healthcare industry across the Hudson Valley. Through a $4 million federal grant, the successful Jobs Waiting Program is expanding to serve more job seekers in more industries.”

Thanks to the grant, the expanded program will serve individuals in the Hudson Valley, the majority of which will include young adults with barriers to employment and training, including lack of transportation, low education attainment, childcare needs, and housing insecurity. The program will also serve long-term unemployed or underemployed individuals, and incumbent workers who need training to advance in their careers.

Administered by the Westchester Putnam Workforce Development Board (WPWDB), the program will now serve the advanced manufacturing, biotech, and information technology sectors, and target the young adult (17 to 29) demographic. The expanded Jobs Waiting program will fast-track unemployed individuals, primarily low-skilled young adults with barriers to employment, into education and training to prepare for well-paying jobs.

“Dramatic workforce changes call for upgrading the skills of today’s job seekers and workers to help them perform optimally in their jobs and advance in their careers,” says Thom Kleiner, Director of Westchester County’s Workforce Development Board and grant director. “Jobs Waiting has been a success. Now we can expand on it and make it easier for employers to hire and train qualified candidates, as we can provide financial incentives – including paid work tryouts and funds for on-the-job training.”

Since fall 2015, over 425 long-term unemployed individuals have participated in Jobs Waiting in the Hudson Valley. Ulster County was the first county to reach its employment goal under the earlier funding stream. Their pipeline of successful participants in the healthcare industry also includes the person who has received the highest starting salary ($130,00) to date.

Model workforce program

The program will address barriers to employment, provide training and support services to participants, and help employers pay for hiring and training program graduates. Individuals who are accepted into the program participate in a six-week career readiness “boot camp,” which includes a skills assessment, career mapping, soft-skills, social media skills, interviewing techniques, and intensive, one-on-one career coaching. After the boot camp, graduates move on to training at participating educational institutions or an occupational skills training program. The goal is to equip participants with the credentials and skills needed for an array of high-demand occupations, for example:

  • Biotechnology: laboratory technicians, health and safety specialist, and research associates;
  • Healthcare: medical coding and billing specialists, ultrasound technicians, registered and licensed practical nurses;
  • Information technology: database administrator, network specialist, web developer, software engineer;
  • Advanced manufacturing: mechanical engineers, HVAC technicians, computer-controlled machinery operators, and programmers.

“The program has a successful model that works,” explains Lisa Berger. “Jobs Waiting includes a specialized intensive boot camp, occupational training, and hands-on support, which is critical for participants who face challenges in entering or re-entering the workforce. At the same time, we’re working closely with the employers to identify their hard-to-fill jobs, and the skills and training that is needed.”

Model collaborative partnership

Grants were awarded to communities that could demonstrate their commitment and readiness to implement innovative training and job placement strategies. Major employers, including FALA Technologies, Elna Magnetic, and Crystal Run Healthhcare have committed their support. In addition, key industry associations, including the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation (HVEDC) and the Council of Industry of Southeastern New York, have signed on. These partners will assist with program design, provide input in industry needs and trends, and facilitate opportunities for job shadowing, internships, work experiences or on-the-job training.

“We’re committed to working with Jobs Waiting because they understand business needs in the new economy,” said Frank Flatyn, President of FALA Technologies. “Today’s workers need a different set of skills than they did 20 years ago, and they need more education. We need critical thinkers with technology skills. This initiative will provide us with a pipeline of candidates who are ready and willing to work.”

“Jobs Waiting is a win-win for everyone involved,” says County Executive Hein. “Our training providers have access to a pool of eager students; our employer partners gain access to a vetted, motivated and trained pipeline of talent; and the participants gain a pathway to a job, a career, and economic success. What’s more, our region as a whole benefits from a robust talent pool and increased opportunities for business growth.”

The regional partnership also includes the Westchester-Putnam, Yonkers, Orange and Rockland Workforce Development boards and will serve to connect workers to training and jobs in seven counties in the Hudson Valley: Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Orange, Dutchess, Ulster and Sullivan. For more information, visit www.jobswaiting.com.

About the Jobs Waiting-TechHire Program

Jobs Waiting is a federally-funded regional partnership to help Hudson Valley residents and employers; the program helps employers hire and train employees while connecting residents to high-wage, high-skill jobs in fast-growing industries in the Hudson Valley. Funded by federal Ready to Work and TechHire partnership grants from the U.S. Department of Labor, the program is led by Westchester County in partnership with the Westchester-Putnam Workforce Development Board and employment centers throughout seven Hudson Valley Counties. The program aims to prepare individuals for jobs in the region’s fastest-growing industries including advanced manufacturing, biotechnology, healthcare, and information technology. Jobs Waiting includes a rigorous four-week career readiness training boot camp, which provides specialized career readiness training and support services to prepare candidates for work, with ongoing training opportunities and career support services for program graduates. Since Jobs Waiting launched in October 2015, over 425 participants have participated in 22 boot camps, with nearly 300 placed in jobs throughout the Hudson Valley.