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Meet Mary Jane – Regional Director at the Workforce Development Institute (WDI)

 

Mary Jane is the Regional Director at the Workforce Development Institute (WDI) in the seven counties: Sullivan, Orange, Ulster, Dutchess, Columbia and Rockland. Her job is to work with partners in the region on expanding, promoting and retaining the workforce. Mary Jane works with non-profits, unions, businesses, government and education providers to identify regional workforce challenges and find solutions to those problems. WDI also gathers data on the jobs of tomorrow and uses that information to help prepare the future workforce and employers in an effort to keep those jobs in the region.

WDI is a statewide non-profit organization with a range of tools – including ground level information, workforce expertise, and funding – to facilitate projects that build skills and strengthen employers’ ability to hire and promote workers. This often fills gaps not covered by other organizations and is accomplished through partnerships and collaborations.

Mary Jane has helped countless organizations within the Hudson Valley region, including the Council of Industry. She played a big role in launching the Council of Industry’s NYS Registered Apprentice Program and maintaining its success. Every registered company is eligible for $2,000 per apprentice to offset the cost of running the program. Mary Jane helped to simplify the application process for this money by creating a “common app.” Participating companies are now only required to fill in a small section of information in a pre-populated application form, significantly reducing the amount of time and paperwork this process would typically demand. This has been a huge factor in motivating participating companies to apply for the grant. “The apprentice program model has proven itself to be the best way to prepare and train your upcoming workforce.” Said Mary Jane, “It’s important to expand and deepen these opportunities.”

The Council of Industry’s Apprentice Program officially reached over 60 Apprentices in April and continues to grow. The program is supporting apprentices all throughout the Hudson Valley region and on Long Island. Through a combination of on-the-job training and related instruction the program is designed to help improve and expand upon the apprentices’ overall understanding of the trade as well as the manufacturing industry overall. There are currently six registered trades: Machinist (CNC)Electro-Mechanical TechnicianMaintenance MechanicQuality Assurance AuditorToolmaker and Industrial Manufacturing Technician. Upon completion of the program apprentices receive a nationally recognized accreditation as a journey level worker.

Mary Jane has made a major impact on the manufacturing industry specifically. She’s done her part in helping to keep manufacturers from leaving the state when they outgrow their facilities, and helped companies “upscale” some of their employees with grants to pay for online training. Many companies can become intimidated by the thought of applying for grants. However, WDI has an interactive grant program that simplifies and streamlines the application process. Regional staff work with you directly to understand the issues at hand and then help develop a response. Once completed, turnaround is quick, allowing the entire process to move forward in a timely manner.

Mary Jane’s efforts have not gone unrecognized. WDI was honored last Friday, May 17th, at the 2019 Manufacturing Champions Award Breakfast. WDI was recognized as the organization champion for their work in identifying targeted strategies that address workforce development opportunities and challenges. WDI believes that a healthy manufacturing base is a key driver to grow the rest of the economy and they’re interested in seeing the new jobs of manufacturing – with solid wages and career trajectories – come to New York State. Mary Jane was unable to attend the event, but Sonja Brown, Regional Director in Westchester who has also worked closely with the Council of Industry and many of its members, was able to accept the award.

Mary Jane’s hard work and dedication has been a huge help to the Council of Industry and many of its members. She has been supportive in many other initiatives beyond just the apprentice program. If you’re interested in speaking with Mary Jane about how she can help you, you can contact her at mjbertram@wdiny.org If you’re located in Putnam or Westchester county you can reach Sonja Brown at sbrown@wdiny.org.

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Consolidated Funding Application Resources and Workshops

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s REDC Round 9 initiative has been announced, with $750 million in state economic development resources available to fund regional economic development projects through the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) process. Since 2011, the first year of the initiative, the CFA has enabled businesses, municipalities, not-for-profits and members of the public to apply for multiple sources of funding from dozens of state agency programs through a single application, for projects that create jobs and help to revitalize communities.

The region will hold CFA Workshops and Information Sessions throughout the 7-county Mid-Hudson region. Below are dates and locations of upcoming workshops and information sessions you can attend. Also provided below are links to Round 9 REDC guidelines and other resources that will guide you through the process of submitting a CFA application.

The following Round 9 Resources are now available on the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council’s website (http://www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov/mid-hudson):

CFA Application Opens: May 1, 2019
CFA Application Deadline: July 26, 2019 by 4:00pm SHARP

Mid-Hudson CFA Workshops Workshops include an overview of the application and the CFA process followed by informational breakout Q&A sessions with representatives from agencies with funding opportunities available through this year’s CFA.
**Please note, all RSVPs should be submitted through the website**

May 14, 2019
9:00AM – 11:30AM
Mount Saint Mary College, Aquinas Hall (Orange County)

330 Powell Ave, Newburgh, NY 12550

Click here to RSVP

 

June 5, 2018
9:00AM – 11:30AM
Westchester Community College, Gateway Center (Westchester County)

75 Grasslands Rd, Valhalla, NY 10595

Click here to RSVP

 

Mid-Hudson CFA Information Sessions – In addition to the CFA Workshops listed above, the region will be hosting CFA Information Sessions in the counties where a CFA workshop will not be held.  Info sessions are hosted by ESD team members ready to answer questions regarding the CFA process.
**Please note, all RSVPs should be submitted through the website**

May 16, 2019

4:00pm-5:30pm

CVI Complex (Sullivan County)

165 Sullivan Ave, Ferndale, NY 12734

Click here to RSVP  

 

May 17, 2019

9:00am-10:30am

Community Center (Rockland County)

31 Zukor Road, New City, NY 10956

Click here to RSVP

 

May 22, 2019

10:00am-11:30am

Putnam County Training & Operations Center, Auditorium (Putnam County)

112 Old Route 6, Carmel, NY 10512
Click here to RSVP

 

May 23, 2019

10:00am-11:30am

Ulster County – Location TBD

More information available soon!

 

June 12, 2019

10:00am-11:30am

Marist College Boathouse (Dutchess County)

3399 North Road, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

Click here to RSVP

 

 

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