Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Robert W. Walsh today announced that New York City businesses are now eligible for two separate grants to train current employees looking to advance their skill levels. The funds, both administered by the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) are called the Building Skills in New York State (BUSINYS) and Skilled Manufacturing Resource Training (SMART) grants and are intended to enable companies to help their employees stay competitive in the global economy. SBS will provide technical assistance for applicants responding to either grant programs.
“The Bloomberg Administration has led the way for making New York City more business friendly, and these grants are another great resource for the City’s businesses and workers,” said Commissioner Robert W. Walsh. “Today, new technology can cause industries to change overnight. In order to stay competitive, businesses need highly-trained employees with a flexible skill set. BUSINYS and SMART grants provide employers with this competitive edge, while giving New Yorkers the skills to be successful in their careers. We are also very excited to be working with the State Department of Labor—giving New York City ’s businesses access to an even larger array of grants and incentives.”
While NYSDOL is solely responsible for review of the programs and the decision-making process, SBS will provide technical assistance to any New York City business applying for the grants, answering questions about the application process and reading and providing feedback on the applications themselves. The deadline for application submission for BUSINYS is June 8, 2005 and for SMART is June 30, 2005.
New York City businesses are newly eligible as of this fiscal year following the State’s certification of the City’s workforce programs, which occurred last July.
“Both the BUSINYS and SMART grants are intended to ensure that New Yorkers are equipped with the workplace skills and knowledge to succeed in a global economy,” said State Labor Commissioner Linda Angello. “They are yet another example of Governor Pataki’s economic development initiative for future business development and sustained economic growth.”
Eleven New York City companies have recently been awarded these grants. Six companies located in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens have collectively received more than $250,000 in BUSINYS grants over the past year to train more than 450 employees. Five manufacturing companies in the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn have collectively received $150,000 worth of SMART grants.
“Our staff is our most important asset,” said Debbie Davidman, Principal of Marks, Paneth and Shron LLP (MP&S)—the City’s seventh largest accounting firm, which received an $84,000 BUSINYS grant. “For us to continue to attract the best and brightest and remain competitive in the NYC market, it is crucial to keep current with the latest technology, and provide new learning opportunities for our staff.” MP&S will use the grant to train more than 90% of its employees in a variety of software applications that help move the organization toward its goal of a paperless workplace. All staff levels, from administrative assistants to senior level management, will enroll in the training seminars. By increasing productivity and enhancing staff's transferable skill sets, the training will make MP&S more competitive in the global market.
The BUSINYS grant provides up to $50,000 to businesses to support training for incumbent (employed) workers in specific skills needed by a business or industry that leads to potential career growth and increased wages. Applicants must demonstrate that the training will result in the workers’ acquisition of transferable skills or an industry-recognized certification or credential. The State evaluates applications based on local relevance to their particular labor market region, overall impact on the target population, cost, and program design.
The SMART grant provides up to $50,000 to small to medium-sized firms in the manufacturing sector to train new and incumbent workers. The purpose of the SMART RFA is to strengthen and support the manufacturing sector in New York State by providing funds to train workers in that sector in process improvement and/or productivity techniques.
In addition to these grants, SBS offers a wide range of customized recruitment and training services for companies hiring new employees. More information on these programs is available by calling 311 and asking for NYC Business Solutions.