Assemblywoman Pat Fahy has introduced legislation Monday that would create short term jobs targeted for Millennials that have been laid off due to COVID-19.
The ‘Works Progress Administration-Pandemic Recovery’ jobs program would allow the New York State Department of Labor to train younger age groups on new jobs such as contact tracing, conservation and climate mitigation.
“Nearly one-third of those under 35 are out of work with the majority in low-wage, retail sector, or gig-economy jobs," Fahy said. "Creating the WPA-PR would provide young New Yorkers with good-paying jobs in the creative economy and bolster the state’s arts and cultural institutions. A bold investment like the WPA-PR would help create and train a new state green workforce, build clean-energy infrastructure, and reinvigorate the promise of the American Dream in NY.”
With two million New Yorkers receiving unemployment benefits, Fahy points to research that questions if all these retail and food industry jobs will return once things start to open back up.
This bill is modeled after the 1935 Work Progress Administration program created by President Franklin Roosevelt during the Great Depression when unemployment was at 20 percent. The WPA gave over 3 million Americans jobs in construction and in the arts.
"The Creative Industries are the fourth largest employment sector in New York's Capital Region, with over 36,000 jobs and $5 billion in sales, and they've been particularly hard hit in this crisis,” Upstate Alliance for the Creative Economy Executive Director Maureen Sager said. “These creative people and businesses can lead WPA-like projects that bring excitement and momentum to our cities and towns right now, at exactly the moment we need it most, while adding to the long-term livability and cultural vibrancy that makes our region a destination for talent, business and investment."