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Learning for Work Regional Forum

September 25, 2019

The Assembly Minority Task Force on Learning for Work has been formed to collect feedback from stakeholders across the state in regard to the Learning for Work Program (A.4255, Ra) and its role in helping to address the “middle-skills gap.”

This legislation creates an apprenticeship program aimed at furthering New York state public school students’ workplace education through hands-on experience. The bridge from high school to the workplace provides students with the opportunity to gain valuable skills that will serve as a foundation for a potential career in the trade or field of their choosing.

 “It is important as legislators that we do all we can to help the next generation be successful,” said Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,C-Canandaigua). “There are numerous different career paths available for students, many of which do not require a typical four-year college degree. These forums ensure we are making students aware of the array of opportunities available to them and preparing them for the future.”

This fall, the task force will conduct a series of regional forums that will seek input from educational, trade and industrial leaders about the economic and educational impacts of this program in addressing the “middle-skills gap.” The testimony and expertise gathered during the events will be used to better understand the strengths and flaws in the current legislation and present a new package of proposals to ensure all students are prepared to enter the 21st Century workforce.

“Our Conference’s ‘Learning for Work’ legislation aims to reach the students who don’t intend to enroll in a four-year higher education program after high school and helps prepare them for a wide-variety of technical careers,” said Task Force Co-Chairman Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush (R,C,I-Black River). “We believe that by combining coursework with hands-on learning, we can prepare today’s students for a lifetime of success. They’ll be tomorrow’s paramedics, mechanics or electricians with fulfilling careers that will benefit them, their families, their communities and the state. The sky’s the limit.”

“Our future economic health, viability and competitiveness depend on a well-trained, skilled workforce,” said Task Force Co-Chairman Assemblyman Mike Norris (R,I,C,Ref-Lockport). “The goal of ‘Learning for Work’ is getting students trained for skilled jobs that currently exist and matching them with prospective employers. The belief that a four-year degree is the only path to success is wholly incorrect. We must be more vocal in our support of the skilled trades and scholarships for enrollment in accredited trade schools and apprenticeship programs.”

At the conclusion of the forums, a report including a summary of findings and targeted solutions will be generated and brought to the Legislature.

 The North Country regional forum has been scheduled on Wednesday October 23rd 2019 from 6pm-8pm at the JCC Lewis County Education Center 7395 East Road Lowville NY 13367.

 If you are able to attend, please contact the Assembly Minority Office of Public Affairs at 518-455-5073 or minpaff@nyassembly.gov

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