As part of Rochester’s efforts to fight poverty, three programs aimed at getting more people into the workforce will benefit from $30 million in public and private dollars, according to an announcement made by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday.
Cuomo was at the Community Place of Greater Rochester when the new funding was announced. The money will go to support the adult mentoring program of the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative, the Hillside Work Scholarship program that helps at-risk high school students prepare for the workforce and Monroe Community College workforce development center.
Of the $30 million, $16 million is coming from the state and another $14 million from the private sector.
Cuomo spoke of the efforts to draw new businesses to the region, including advanced manufacturing and photonics. Having a trained workforce will be essential to their success.
“Almost every new job requires a new level of training,” he noted, and furthermore the training is ongoing. “It’s a lifelong process.”
But bringing good-paying jobs to the area isn’t the sole goal because economic development too often leaves low-income people behind. “The greatest success is shared success,” he said.
This is why these funds are aimed at preparing people who otherwise face obstacles in competing for jobs. “Rochester is an inspiration because you get it,” he said.
Danny Wegman, co-chair of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council, was credited for organizing the private sector support for the project.
Wegman praised the effort as a focused approach to reducing poverty, saying too often in the past, efforts were diffuse and difficult to scale. “(The governor) really got us all to believe we could make a difference,” Wegman said.
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