The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets today announced it has issued a Request for Information (RFI) to gather input from stakeholders that will help the Department shape a first-of-its-kind agricultural workforce development program in the State. The Department is also looking to identify potential qualified applicants. Funding for the program was allocated in this year’s New York State Budget and builds on Governor Kathy Hochul’s goals of strengthening New York’s food supply chain through the attraction and retention of a skilled agricultural workforce.
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “Governor Hochul is committed to building a strong agricultural pipeline and to make sure that we are connecting our young people in agriculture to New York companies. I encourage eligible organizations focused on workforce development to respond to this request; the input gained will be invaluable as we work to develop a program with clear pathways for those interested in a career in agriculture and connect them to high-quality employment across the industry.”
New York’s agricultural and food industries need to continue to attract and retain future generations of skilled workers who are prepared for a career in an industry that is rapidly developing alongside emerging technologies and ever-changing consumer demand. The Department is interested in working closely with those in the agricultural and food sectors to create a program that will identify clear pathways for jobseekers and connect them to high-quality employment opportunities in agriculture, ultimately helping to strengthen and grow the State’s food supply system.
Information gathered from the RFI will inform a potential Request for Proposal (RFP) for an agriculture workforce development program. The program will identify internships and apprenticeships across the industry and, working with our educational institutions like the SUNY system, ensure that the necessary skills and standards required by the industry are being taught to students. The program will also focus on working with workforce development entities to match and place the new workforce, including migrant individuals and asylum seekers, directly with industry opportunities.
The RFI and additional information can be found on the Department’s website at https://agriculture.ny.gov/request-information-new-york-state-department-agriculture-and-markets-agriculture-workforce. Responders to the RFI may answer in one, or more, of the following areas: 1. Experience; 2. Qualifications; 3. Proposed project scope and services; 4. Other Considerations.
Statements of interest will be accepted via email to Antonia Giuliano, Senior Policy Advisor for Food and Dairy, at [email protected].
Responses are due by November 1, 2023, and questions about the RFI must be submitted by email by October 4, 2023.