Workforce Development Initiative

Investing $175 million for workforce development

TOP Workforce Development Initiative


Project plans and applications are now being accepted.


The Workforce Development Initiative (WDI) will invest $175 million through a newly created Consolidated Funding Application (CFA), targeted to workforce investments. The awarded CFA projects will support strategic regional efforts that meet businesses’ short-term workforce needs, long-term industry needs, improve regional talent pipelines, enhance the flexibility and adaptability of local workforce entities, and expand workplace learning opportunities. Focus will be on regionally significant industries in emerging fields with growing demands for jobs, including those in clean energy, life sciences, computer science, and advanced technologies. Funds will also support efforts to improve the economic security of women, young workers, and other populations that face significant barriers to career advancement.

The Workforce Development Initiative is made up of three major components:

1. The WDI will have $175 million of dedicated funding across multiple state agencies/authorities that will be made available through one or more Consolidated Funding Application (CFA)

2. Regional Economic Development Councils (REDCs) will play a role in selecting projects in accordance with their region’s economic and workforce development plans

3. Project plans and applications will be accepted on a continual basis beginning on May 8, 2019

Funding Options

21st Century Skills Public Private Partnerships

Expand the infrastructure and capacity of SUNY and CUNY to produce skilled talent that meets the needs of regional employers by providing funding for classroom space, technology and equipment, industry-engaged curriculum development.

Employer Driven Skills Program

Expand employer investment in a skilled workforce pipeline providing funding or tax credits to train incumbent workers and recruit and train entry-level workers.

Workforce Solutions Program

Enable regions to enhance or develop workforce collaboratives to increase the number of skilled workers in key sectors through partnerships.


Download the Guidebook and Workforce CFA Program Guidelines to learn more about the initiative and application process.

Application Process

Project Process

Applications for WDI support will go through a two-stage approval process to streamline the allocation of funding, and quickly identify the appropriate funding options. 

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