Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul visited a Buffalo business planning to move to Lackawanna next year, and grow its workforce upon completing the move. TRS Packaging will receive $400,000 for job skills training, one of numerous awards announced by New York State Monday.
The Upstate Workforce Development Initiative will, according to the Cuomo Administration, result in training for more than 3,600 individuals. The program, formed in May 2019 through the New York State Department of Labor and State University of New York, is awarding grants to 70 businesses, community colleges and community organizations involved in job skills training.
Hochul appeared at TRS Packaging on Dingens Street, where more than 100 people are already employed. TRS's parent company, TMP Technologies, manufactures applicators and daubers. More than 100 people employed at TRS Packaging were busy boxing and wrapping one of the product lines.
"They're going to be expanding. Not just a facility moving to the Bethlehem Steel site by the end of next year, but also adding 70 new employees," Hochul said. "It's really important that they have the skills they need. It'll help the company save money. Ultimately, they've identified people with the skills they like to have. They need the money and help train them and this is how we can help our business community."
Other Western New York companies and institutions receiving funding through the program are American Niagara Hospitality, Audubon Machinery Corporation, Brunner International, Bush Industries, Cattaraugus County, Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES, Intandem, Napoleon Engineering Services, Niagara Industrial Mechanical, People Inc, Precious Plate, SG Special Mold Components, Southern Tier Environments for Living, Saint Gobain, Snyder Corporation, TitanX, Tulip Richardson Manufacturing, VanDeMark Chemical, and Washington Mills.
Hochul was asked how New York State knows whether it's getting the best return on its investment in programs such as the Upstate Workforce Development Initiative. She says the answer is in job creation.
"It's really easy to tell the number of people placed in jobs after they've gone through training," she replied. "And what we're finding is that there's so many jobs going unfilled, and critical skills need to be taught to people skills like welding, and fabrication and computer learning.
"They have to be taught and it costs money to teach them. We'll provide that money to companies, to community colleges, to not-for-profits. And we'll be able to measure very successfully how well this program did by simply the number of people that are placed in jobs based on how many start."