FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 8, 2009

Media Contact:
Michelle D. Bowen
518.463.3175 ext 101
mbowen@albanycap.org

New York State Announces Grant Award to Local Nonprofit to Train Low-Income Capital Region Residents in Cutting-Edge Fields

Albany, NY - August 8, 2009 - At a press conference at the Albany Community Action Partnership (ACAP), the State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) and the Department of Labor (DOL) today announced an additional $1 million to fund job training and education programs in the Capital District to improve the economic prospects of low-income workers.  The Career Pathways initiative is designed to prepare low-income workers for careers in high-demand fields, such as green technology and construction, and health care.

In 2008, OTDA and DOL awarded nearly $5 million in funding to 16 organizations to launch Career Pathways programs. This new round of grants will bring additional funding to those 16 programs.

ACAP was recently awarded $462,996 (a total of $845,068) by OTDA and DOL to fund its Career Pathways program.  A program that has been up and running at the agency since February 2009 with early success.

“Advancement in the workforce, and with it economic self-sufficiency, is often difficult for many low-income workers to achieve,” said Kristin Proud, Deputy Director of State Operations, who is overseeing OTDA.  “Without additional training and skills development they have little prospect of advancing to higher-wage jobs and increased economic security.  The Career Pathways program is critically important as we work to ensure all New Yorkers have the tools they need to achieve their highest level of self-sufficiency.”

“Traditionally, New York’s low-income workers are among the first casualties of economic downturns and this recession is no different,” said State Labor Commissioner M. Patricia Smith.  “Worker training programs in in-demand occupations, combined with strong supportive services, can lift individuals and their families out of poverty and put them on a path to economic independence.  That is the goal of the Career Pathways program, and thanks to this new funding hundreds of lives will be changed for the better.”

 “This is a don’t miss opportunity for low-income folks to really position themselves for success in growing Capital Region industries and create a viable future for themselves and their families,” says Kathy Cloutier, Executive Director of ACAP.  “ACAP’s Career Pathways program has only been up and running for four months, but many of our participants are already making significant strides; some have even been offered fulltime positions before completion of their 6 to 8 week training period.” 

Individuals eligible for this initiative include public assistance recipients, low-wage workers and people receiving unemployment insurance in households with incomes of less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level.

Qualified individuals interested in participating in ACAP’s Career Pathways program can attend the mandatory orientation meeting held the first and third Monday of the month at 10 a.m. at 333 Sheridan Avenue, Albany.

About Albany Community Action Partnership (ACAP)
Albany Community Action Partnership, started in 1966, is an organization that works in partnership with families and communities to empower people to achieve economic self-sufficiency and an improved quality of life. In addition to Career Pathways, ACAP currently runs 14 programs and services in 17 locations around Albany County.  Visit www.albanycap.org to learn more.

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