We’ve previously seen future projections of labor and job opportunities across the state and nation from many different sources. STEM fields are growing, our future workforce needs to be technologically-abled, and our schools need to be part of the equation to mold the future workers who will carry us deep into the 21st century.
The needs of our state workforce are changing. Based on Department of Labor data, over the next ten years, New York will need approximately: 2,340 engineers and engineering technologists; 18,550 new healthcare practitioners and health technicians; 9,000 business and finance professionals; and 6,500 community and social service professionals to fill needed job openings in these fields. Additionally, there is also a growing need for medical and clinical laboratory technicians, information technology professionals, civil/environmental/mechanical engineers and chemical technicians, among others. These occupations are seen as high needs occupations in which projections show each to have a large number of total openings, a high growth rate or a combination of both in the coming years.
Today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced nearly $7 million in awards to the SUNY High Needs Program to support workforce development in fields that are projected to substantially grow across the State, such as engineering, renewable clean energy, healthcare, public health, biomedical-biotechnical, information technology and business and finance. The awards will provide funding for programs at 37 different colleges and universities across SUNY that focus on these fields.
According to Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher, “SUNY’s High Needs Program is just one way in which we honor our promises of economic and workforce development to New York State while educating and training our students in careers that will lead to their success after graduation. Students who take advantage of these programs are the engineers, clean energy experts, healthcare technicians and business leaders of tomorrow, and we are proud to foster their development and training on campuses across the State.”
These workforce development awards will help strengthen the later points on the seamless education pipeline. Beginning with an educated population and advancing that to a skilled workforce to meet our changing needs will provide the tools for continued economic growth and development in the future.
Taras Kufel is the Web Content and Design Manager in the Office of New Media of the State University of New York.