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Labor Department, Congressman Arcuri Encourage Mohawk Valley Businesses to Tap into Stimulus Training Dollars
Limited Time for Mohawk Valley Businesses to Apply

Utica, NY (June 15, 2009) - At a press event in Utica, Executive Deputy Commissioner of Labor Mario Musolino and Congressman Michael Arcuri today encouraged Mohawk Valley businesses to tap into the Labor Department’s Building Skills in New York State (BUSINYS) program and upgrade the skills of their incumbent workers. Under this $5 million training program, funded in part by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, businesses with four or more workers are eligible to apply for up to $50,000 in worker training funds from the Department of Labor. In the Mohawk Valley Region, more than 5,000 businesses are potentially eligible to apply.=

Speaking on behalf of Labor Commissioner M. Patricia Smith, Executive Deputy Commissioner Musolino said, "As Governor Paterson often says, we are a state rich with resources, the most impressive of which is our human capital. We need to invest in that capital here in the Mohawk Valley, and let it grow. That is the ultimate goal of this new training program funded in part by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act."

“Providing our region’s employees with the training and skills necessary to thrive is critical," Congressman Arcuri said. "This combined federal Recovery Bill and New York State funding will make it easier for employers to keep their employees prepared to ensure that Upstate New York has a highly skilled and competitive workforce."

The purpose of BUSINYS initiative is to ensure that the skills of workers do not deteriorate or become "stale" in an ever more competitive and technologically complex global economy. Once awards are made to Mohawk Valley businesses, incumbent workers will be trained in specific occupational skills needed by that business or industry. Eventually, this can lead to potential career growth and increased wages.

Training can run the gamut; from computer programming and lean manufacturing to management supervision and machine operation.

In order to be considered for an award, an applicant must:

  • Be a private sector, for-profit, or not-for-profit business, and have four or more employees; or a consortium of two or more such businesses that have the same training needs.
  • Be headquartered or have at least one physical location in New York State at the time the proposal is submitted. (Funds awarded to applicants must be expended on employees working at the applicant's New York State facilities.)
  • Have contacted their local workforce investment area.

In addition:

  • The position(s) targeted for training must exist and be filled at the time the proposal is submitted.
  • The applicant must demonstrate that the training will result in the workers' acquisition of transferable occupational skills.

Businesses have until 4 p.m. on July 20, 2009 to apply for the BUSINYS training program. There is no minimum award amount. Contracts will be awarded for a period of up to six months.

For more information or to download an application, visit the Labor Department's homepage at