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New York State Senator Pam Helming (R,C,I-54th District) has been named to the Senates Task Force on Workforce Development. The task force is charged with improving employee readiness, meeting the workforce needs of private sector employers, connecting job seekers with potential employers, retraining for those that have lost jobs, and helping to make New York State's overall economy more robust, dynamic, and resilient.

"I am grateful to be a part of this Task Force," said Helming. "This appointment gives me a great platform to represent the business owners and job seekers in our district and in Upstate New York as a whole. Education, training, and cultivating the skills of job seekers is imperative to meeting the needs of a 21st century global economy."

Helming added that she is proud to continue the Senate's successful efforts to create better opportunities for the state's workers by identifying, enhancing, and maximizing the resources available to meet the needs of new and existing employers.

The Senate Task Force on Workforce Development was established in March 2015 and charged with reviewing the state's existing programs designed to train both job seekers and existing employees for current and prospective employment opportunities. Task Force members held several forums that brought together leaders in business, labor, public education, higher education, local governments, and workforce training and development.

Input provided by the Task Force was used to generate extensive information and reports, and a package of legislation that the Senate passed in 2016. One of the bills (S7967) became law and will expand the type of data collected by the State Department of Labor to include forward-facing job statistics that can be used by employers and educators to accurately predict future needs and properly prepare the workforce for career opportunities.

"The Task Force has already achieved great results for New York's businesses and workforce, and I am looking forward to being involved in future actions that strengthen our state's economy," Helming said.

Helming joins three other new members, Senator Chris Jacobs (R-C-I, Buffalo); Senator Elaine Phillips (R-C, Manhasset); and Senator James Tedisco (R-C-I, Glenville). They will join existing members Senator Phil Boyle (R-C-I, Suffolk County), Senator Rich Funke (R-C-I, Fairport), Senator Joseph Griffo (R-C-I, Rome), Senator William Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson), Senator Kenneth LaValle (R-C-I, Port Jefferson), Senator Carl Marcellino (R, Syosset), Senator Kathleen Marchione (R-C, Halfmoon), Senator Tom O'Mara (R-C, Big Flats), Senator Patricia Ritchie (R-C, Heuvelton), Senator Susan Serino (R, Hyde Park), Senator James L. Seward (R-C-I, Oneonta), and Senator Catharine Young (R-I-C, Olean).