March 2004


From the NYS Assembly • Sheldon Silver, Speaker
Herman D. Farrell Jr. • Ways & Means Committee Chair
Paul A. Tokasz • Majority Leader
Robin Schimminger • Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce & Industry Committee Chair
Susan John • Labor Committee Chair
Joseph D. Morelle • Tourism, Arts and Sports Development Committee Chair
Darryl Towns • Small Business Committee Chair
Paul D. Tonko • Energy Committee Chair
Ronald Canestrari • Higher Education Committee Chair
William Magee • Agriculture Committee Chair
Adriano Espaillat • Legislative Commission on Science and Technology Chair
William Scarborough • Legislative Commission on Skills Development and Career Education Chair
William B. Magnarelli • Legislative Task Force on University-Industry Cooperation Chair
Governor has failed when it comes to jobs.

  • If the state’s employment had grown at the same rate as the nation’s between January 1995 and December 2003, New York would have created 432,900 jobs
  • New York is 38th in job creation in the nation
  • In a state comptroller’s audit of eight Empire Zones, 47 percent created fewer jobs than they promised and 23 percent actually lost jobs
  • The comptroller’s audit also found that 34 of the 86 businesses that reduced jobs still claimed real property or sales tax exemptions totaling $2.4 million
  • From 1995 through 2002, New York lost over 157,618 manufacturing jobs
  • Between the fourth quarter of 2000 and the second quarter of 2003, New York wages declined by an average of 0.9 percent per year

Assembly’s NY@Work jobs plan will create tens of thousands of jobs, help businesses compete in changing economy

Governor’s failed economic development strategy hurts New Yorkers

The Assembly’s comprehensive jobs plan, NY@Work, will create tens of thousands of jobs, help businesses, and leave New Yorkers better prepared to compete in today’s high-tech economy.

NY@Work is what our state needs to revitalize a struggling economy and meet the challenges of a changing business environment. The Assembly is earmarking nearly $525 million for the plan, which will help bring a focus that has been sorely lacking under the governor’s policies to New York’s economic development efforts and take advantage of our many strengths – a strong education system, a skilled workforce, a tradition of manufacturing, and diverse regional economies.

For nine straight years, the governor has failed to provide New Yorkers with a compelling vision for our economic future, not to mention a cure for our present fiscal ills. In fact, had the state’s employment grown at the same rate as the nation’s between January 1995 and December 2003, New York would have created 432,900 additional jobs.

Overhauling the governor’s failed approach to economic development

To improve the accountability and efficiency of the state’s economic development efforts, the Assembly’s plan would create an Economic Policy Coordination Board to develop a long-overdue strategic plan for economic growth and oversee the state’s investments in research and development projects. It will also replace the current Empire State Development Board with a new, three-member Economic Development Control Board – providing the governor, the Assembly Speaker, and the Senate Majority Leader each with one appointed member.

Reforming the Empire Zone program

When the Empire Zone program is being run efficiently, it is an effective economic development program. Unfortunately, the current administration has mismanaged the program, and took nine months before even proposing a solution that fell far short of what is needed.

A state comptroller’s audit of eight Empire Zones yielded some troubling information. Forty-seven percent of the businesses that received tax breaks from the program created fewer jobs than they promised and 23 percent actually lost jobs.

The Assembly’s plan would make major changes to improve performance, ensure appropriate oversight and management, and make sure the most distressed areas of the state get the help they need.

Developing a workforce for the future

Another Assembly initiative, Expand Local Economies through Vocational and Technical Education (ELEVATE NEW YORK), will help the state invest in its workforce by:

  • supporting school-to-work programs that help students by providing career orientation and work experience
  • investing in vocational education and support programs that train workers in the changing technologies of trade industries
  • initiating a new program called "Experience and a Degree" which promotes the use of internships that help bridge the classroom to the workplace
  • backing Educational Opportunity Centers which provide job training and educational services to roughly 20,000 low-income New Yorkers
  • supporting apprenticeships that provide on-the-job training and access to the skilled trades

This program will truly elevate New York by providing job training for our future workforce. A combination of career awareness, work experience and education is the best way to prepare people for the technological demands of the workplace.

Investing in capital projects that create jobs now and in the future

New York is an uncontested leader when it comes to high-tech research and development, but the governor has done a poor job turning our brain power into economic power. This plan would bring new research-driven technology to commercial markets, and provide businesses with important capital to foster growth in biotechnology, nanotechnology and other advanced technologies to create the jobs of the future.

Supporting the manufacturing sector

Manufacturing is still a vital component of our state’s economy. The Assembly’s plan includes a "Make-It-Here" initiative that would focus on the small manufacturer and niche markets; support research and development alliances; assist with exporting; and develop a new program called “ManuTech 2004,” which helps employers adopt new technologies.

Lowering the cost of energy is vital to keeping the manufacturing sector viable. The Power for Jobs Program – first proposed by the Assembly – provides low-cost power to manufacturers. NY@Work would extend the program for three years, while making key changes so it runs more efficiently.

New York has some of the highest energy rates in the nation. By providing manufacturers with lower energy costs, Power for Jobs has been successful at keeping jobs here and creating new ones.

Supporting community-based economic development

The Assembly’s plan recognizes the importance of community-based economic development, and offers support to programs like the Minority and Women-Owned Business Development Lending Program and the Rural Revitalization Program. It also provides the business community greater manufacturing, agricultural, small business and tourism assistance.

Our state has a wealth of resources – both natural and human – that are simply not being used to their full potential. The failures of the current administration have cost us countless opportunities to turn our flailing economy around and to improve the lives of thousands of people. This plan makes sure that the efforts of our world-class workforce translate into a world-class economy.

The bottom line is we need economic development policies to lead New York’s economy into the future, and the governor’s policies have proven ill-equipped to do that. As much as the governor likes to take credit for it, it was the Assembly that pushed our state forward with successful initiatives like the Empire Zone program, only to have the current administration manage it ineffectively. It’s the ideas in the Assembly’s plan – ideas that draw on the natural strengths of the state’s varied regions – that will keep on pushing us forward.

For a copy of the NY@Work plan, click here

The Assembly Internet Information Service is available to those interested in receiving timely legislative updates by e-mail.
To subscribe to this service, please drop us a line at, indicating your area of interest. (The Assembly Internet Information Service will not release, sell or give away a subscriber’s e-mail address, name or any other information provided without express permission from the subscriber. Each e-mail notice or newsletter will contain simple instructions for removing your name from the mailing list if you decide you no longer wish to subscribe.)

New York State Assembly
[ Welcome Page ] [ Committee Updates ]