Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced Monday the launch of a new Thruway Authority Skilled Trades Scholarship Program, aimed at recruiting qualified students pursuing a career in the trades and increasing workplace diversity.
The Thruway Authority will collaborate with New York State schools offering programs in various trades such as carpentry, electrical, HVAC and plumbing, and provide students the opportunity to jumpstart their career with the Thruway Authority while gaining valuable on-the-job skills training.
Ten students will be selected in the pilot program this year to work in each of the Thruway Authority's maintenance divisions across the state.
"Scholarship and mentor programs are critical to developing and retaining employees in highly skilled trades and establishing a future workforce for our state," Governor Cuomo said. "This program is a valuable workforce development tool that will open new doorways for young New Yorkers so they have the chance to thrive in today's economy."
"The new Thruway Authority Skilled Trades Scholarship is a great workforce development tool, providing on-the-job training for specialized trades jobs," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who made the announcement.
"Students will work with mentors to receive their education and training, and when they complete the program, have a career with the Thruway Authority along with opportunities for advancement. We want to make sure all New Yorkers have the access and resources they need to be trained in the trades and fill these high-skilled jobs across New York State."
Students enrolled in vocational/technical programs, or accepted for enrollment at a trade school or college-level program, can apply for the scholarship program. Applicants are required to submit an employment application and provide two letters of recommendation. Submissions will be reviewed by a committee, which will interview and select the qualified candidates this summer.
Selected applicants will be awarded $1,000 toward their education while joining the Thruway Authority workforce to apply their skills. As full-time Thruway Authority employees, the participants will be eligible for the Thruway Authority's tuition reimbursement program to further fund their education expenses.
During the program, participants will continue to attend classes and obtain the necessary qualifications for progressive levels of the program. With proper training and experience, the candidates will be appointed to a journey level trade position with the Thruway Authority once they meet the minimum qualifications.
Thruway Authority Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll said, "This pilot program is a unique opportunity to recruit a diverse workforce and jumpstart a student's career. We encourage qualified candidates to apply for this program and join the many men and women currently working in a skilled trade with the Thruway Authority."
Assemblymember John T. McDonald III said, "Supporting careers and education in the skilled trades is of tremendous value to our communities and to the economy. I applaud the Thruway Authority for seeing the value in providing scholarships in the skilled trades field and for investing in these students."
Assemblymember William B. Magnarelli, chair, Assembly Transportation Committee, said, "The Thruway Authority Skilled Trades Scholarship Program is a great opportunity for students to explore the vase field of trades that are needed in Upstate New York. The skills learned through the trades will serve these individuals as a wonderful foundation for their entire career."
The deadline for students to submit an application is May 31. Interested students can find out more information about the program and apply at thruway.ny.gov/scholarship.