Last week, Governor Cuomo announced several notable tech-related programs as part of his annual State of the State address. These initiatives signal important progress on the State’s tech policy agenda—although significant work remains to be done. The Governor’s announcement included the following items:
- Important preliminary steps in investing in technology education with a $5.3 million investment for 10 new early college high schools with focus on CS, $2 million for professional development with a focus on CS teachers, and a public/private partnership to train educators and modernize curriculum to advance computer science education.
- To improve workforce education, a $5 million fund to support tech and innovative training and education.
- To strengthen the connection between industry and government-based workforce development, a New York Tech Workforce Task Force, comprised of industry leaders, academics and policy makers, to inform the State’s K-12, college, workforce and economic development investments and ensure that those investments are in tune with industry needs.
- To strengthen worker training incentives, an overhaul of the Empire State Development’s Employee Training Incentive Program, which incentivizes companies to include incumbent worker training through Excelsior Tax Credits.
- Improving transportation options by expanding access to ridesharing services throughout New York State.
- Following through on the $2 billion Smart Schools Bond Act by approving 65 Smart Schools Investment Plans to update and upgrade tech programming and infrastructure in New York's schools.
Tech:NYC applauds the Governor’s commitment to tech and clear recognition of tech’s place in New York’s future economy. These proposals represent a step in the right direction, though more work—and additional funding—will be needed to ensure these proposals become a reality. We look forward to working with the Governor and other policymakers to make that happen and to strengthen the state’s commitment in future years.