Video: Training the New York State Workforce for Continued Economic Growth

New York State Director of Workforce Development Madhuri Kommareddi discussed the state’s strategy to train the workforce for continued economic growth at the Rockefeller Institute in June, focusing on the challenges of filling jobs today while preparing for the workforce demands of the future.

“With AI, with automation, with the gig economy, we’re seeing a fundamental restructuring of how jobs are being created,” she said. “This is a national problem, this is also a global problem.”

Kommareddi identified two broad priorities for New York State’s workforce development strategy:

  1. Training people to fill the roughly 300,000 vacant jobs across New York “to power our economic growth today and make us more recession-proof in the future.”
  2. Restructuring the workforce development system to attract and create the middle-skill and high-skill jobs of the future. A recent analysis by the Rockefeller Institute found that 53 percent of jobs in the state are vulnerable to automation over the next 20 years. Another found that artificial intelligence professionals are underrepresented in New York’s workforce compared to national statistics.

“As the economy does continue to shift — automation isn’t just in the future, it’s happening now; AI is happening now; the gig economy is taking a greater and greater portion of our jobs today — how are we making those investments to make our system more flexible and adaptable?” Kommareddi said.

She discussed the major elements of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Workforce Development Initiative, announced in January 2018, with a particular focus on the new Consolidated Funding Application and the role that the state’s Regional Economic Development Councils have in ensuring that workforce development projects align with their economic development plans.

Watch the full presentation, including a Q&A session, below. You can learn more about the Workforce Development Initiative at