Lt. Gov. Delgado Outlines State’s Priorities at BCW Speaker Series
New York Lt. Gov. Antonio Delgado joined BCW vice president John Ravitz on Monday to kick off the first installment of the 2023 KeyBank Speaker Series.
Lt. Gov. Delgado, who is beginning his first term, outlined Gov. Kathy Hochul’s legislative priorities for economic development, workforce/talent development, housing, and the environment. He began the conversation by explaining that attracting jobs paying living wages is dear to him as a native of Schenectady and son of two parents who worked at General Electric.
“Those were the types of jobs that allowed families like mine to work themselves up from working class to middle class,” said Lt. Gov. Delgado. “I have that embedded in terms of how I think about supporting working families, what it takes to make sure that upward mobility is indeed obtainable.”
Delgado went on to explain that New York’s recently announced Economic Innovation Plan will expand opportunity statewide through targeted investments, business support, and other programming aimed at high-growth industries like high technology, life sciences and advanced manufacturing. He noted that between 2010 and 2021, businesses created 113,000 high-wage jobs in the tech sector. He said the Hochul administration’s goal is to continue that momentum.
Delgado noted that New York must develop its workforce talent pool to successfully attract new businesses and employers. He said that New York has the educational and training facilities needed to develop a workforce for the jobs of tomorrow if state leaders take an intentional approach, which is the purpose of the new Office of Strategic Workforce Development launched by Gov. Hochul last year.
State economic investments will also flow through the Regional Economic Development Councils, of which BCW president and CEO Marsha Gordon is regional co-chair of the Mid-Hudson council. Delgado called the councils’ work “incredibly successful.” New state investments in this program will focus on place making, workforce development and innovation.
Local revitalization efforts will also be channeled through the state’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative. Delgado cited New Rochelle as a successful beneficiary of this initiative that seeks to transform downtown neighborhoods into vibrant centers that attract new businesses, job creation and housing diversity.
Delgado acknowledged that many local governments have concerns about Gov. Hochul’s recently announced goal to build 800,000 new homes in the next 10 years by implementing targeted goals for communities. He said the administration recognizes that it must support communities in this housing effort, so the New York Housing Compact will offer local communities $250 million for new infrastructure and $20 million for planning to support new housing production.
As for New York’s aggressive transition from fossil fuels, Delgado said state leaders has a strategy like the one for housing targets: remove obstacles to construction and engage with local officials to achieve agreement that New York faces an existential threat.
“If we don’t make robust, intense investments in our renewable energy capacity…then those goals are going to be incredibly difficult to hit,” said Delgado.
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