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Congressman Suozzi, Long Island County Executives Announce Formation of Long Island Apprenticeship & Workforce Development Task Force

February 22, 2019
Press Release
Over the next three months, the newly formed task force will look to utilize and promote resources to support a pipeline to well-paying, high-skilled jobs on Long Island

Congressman Tom Suozzi (D – Long Island, Queens), Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, and other leaders from the business community, labor, local community colleges, BOCES, and workforce development boards announced the formation of the Long Island Apprenticeship & Workforce Development Task Force.

“I convened this task force in the hopes that we can provide centralized coordination to create a streamlined process that is more effective for employers looking to fill open positions, and for job seekers that are interested in these opportunities. We must also work to promote these important job-training programs so that potential employees are aware of the current resources available to them. Additionally, we must enlighten young people here on Long Island, so they know that there are other ways to make it in America besides going to college. The key to our future lies in building a better-skilled workforce for the benefit of our business and middle-class communities here on Long Island, said Congressman Suozzi.

“Apprenticeships provide people with proven and meaningful ways to gain skills and kickstart fulfilling careers. With this new Task Force in place, we’re committing to bridging the skills gap by creating apprenticeships that reflect the needs of our local job creators. There are already many existing job training programs in place on Long Island – we’re creating a one-stop-shop to promote the existing and new training opportunities available for key industries in need of skilled employees,” said Laura Curran, Nassau County Executive.

“Long Island is competing in a global economy and that means we need to make the investments to develop and recruit a high-skilled workforce for the region. I thank Congressman Suozzi for bringing together all stakeholders who want to facilitate a pipeline between industries, training centers and the next generation of job seekers,” said Steve Bellone, Suffolk County Executive.

“While unemployment is low on Long Island, many jobs remain unfilled because companies are not able to identify individuals with the skill set necessary to match the opportunity, and thus I commend Congressman Suozzi for his support of an apprenticeship task force that will benefit the business community, improve the economy and potentially attract new federal investments in the region,” said Kevin Law, President & CEO of the Long Island Association.

Developing lifelong skills and experiences through apprenticeship programs has always been the foundation of the building trades. I want to thank Congressman Suozzi for convening this taskforce. Through our combined efforts, we will find ways to utilize existing programs and facilitate connections, so we may create an effective pipeline for well-paying jobs which will benefit our labor community immensely,” said Matty Aracich, President of the Building Trades Council of Nassau and Suffolk.

In coordination with the Congressman and the two County Executives, the Task Force will include representatives from local community colleges, BOCES, labor unions, industry leaders, and workforce development boards. The focus of the Task Force will be to address and coordinate the specific needs for well-trained and high-skilled workers on Long Island by developing and facilitating connections between industry and apprenticeship training centers and workforce development programs. This initiative will encompass the manufacturing, technology, and life sciences industries that make up our “495 Research Corridor.”

The press conference took place at Composite Prototyping Center, a state-of-the-art facility in Plainview that provides training, workforce development, prototype manufacturing and testing capabilities.