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Cuomo launches ‘Unemployment Strikeforce’ targeting Bronx, Kings, Jefferson, Lewis counties

By Eric Reinhardt

Date:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday announced an “Unemployment Strikeforce,” a new “multi-pronged” campaign to target areas of the state with the highest unemployment rates to link job seekers with employers.

In partnership with New York state government, Empire State Development, the New York State Department of Labor and others, the campaign will focus on Bronx, Kings, Jefferson, and Lewis counties through the end of 2014.

“This new initiative brings together major players from both the public and private sectors in order to assist New Yorkers in areas with the highest unemployment rates overcome barriers to finding work. This Strikeforce will go a long way toward connecting hard-working New Yorkers with job opportunities in their communities,” Cuomo said in a news release.

New York will pilot the initiative in Bronx County, which has the highest unemployment rate in the state, according to state and federal data.

The Strikeforce will then direct similar resources to the three other target counties, the governor’s office said.

A “key” priority of Strikeforce is equipping New York trainers and workers with the skills that employers are demanding, according to Cuomo’s office.

For example, J.P. Morgan Chase designed its New Skills at Work initiative to address the issue in communities nationwide.

The firm today announced it will invest $20 million in New York state over the next five years. A critical component of this initiative includes “sector-based, employer-driven” training to give more New Yorkers the skills they need to get back to work, Cuomo’s office said.

The bank hears from clients “every day” about the challenges they face in finding workers with the right skills for jobs that are currently open, Priscilla Almodovar, head of Chase’s Community Development Banking, said in the news release.

“That’s why we’re working with community leaders across New York — technical training programs, community colleges, policymakers and employers — to help address these issues,” said Almodovar.

Anyone looking for a job should visit their nearest state Labor Department career center, Cuomo’s office said.

Details are available at this website: www.labor.ny.gov/career-center-locator

Contact Reinhardt at ereinhardt@cnybj.com

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