Rozic, Carlucci and Stringer Announce Bill to Fill Talent-Gap and Stop Talent-Drain of NY Engineers

Empire Engineers Initiative Act seeks to foster skilled, competitive workforce legislation puts BP Stringer’s recommendation in “Start-Up City” into action

NEW YORK, NY – To secure a future skilled workforce and boost economic development throughout the State, New York State Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D-Queens), New York State Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Westchester) and Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer joined at Queens College to announce legislation that will attract and retain engineers to work in New York State.

The Empire Engineers Initiative Act (EEIA) stems from a core recommendation Borough President Scott M. Stringer made in his “Start-Up City” report. Recognizing a severe talent-gap in the fields of science and engineering, Rozic and Carlucci are hoping to advance Stringer’s proposal to create a financial aid program for students who major in engineering and commit to work in New York for at least five years.

“We must provide our students with the tools, resources and innovation necessary to be successful,” said Assemblywoman Nily Rozic. “To continue our economic growth and create quality jobs, New York State needs to remain a leader in every field. Investing in our engineering workforce and finding creative ways to retain that talent will benefit every community and strengthen our vibrant economy.”

“New York State must continue to make smart investments to bolster an innovation economy and prepare our workforce for the 21st century,” said State Senator Carlucci. “This legislation will accomplish both by training our students today to become the engineers of tomorrow. These scholarships provide a critical incentive that will not only help alleviate the burdens of tuition but also help New York retain our competitive edge using the best and the brightest. I applaud Assemblywoman Rozic and Manhattan Borough President Stringer for their continued efforts in thinking outside the box and preparing our next generation of leaders.”

“This is exactly the kind of forward-thinking response I was hoping would come from our ‘Start-Up City’ report,” said Borough President Stringer. “Many of the core recommendations from Start-Up City, including the strengthening of our broadband networks and the growth of public-private partnerships between innovative companies and our City schools, can only be accomplished if we have the talented engineers to carry them out. I applaud Assemblywoman Rozic and State Senator Carlucci for introducing this bill to spur talented New Yorkers to start businesses right here at home, and to draw entrepreneurs from around the country and the world to put down roots here in New York State.”

“As a Professional Engineer, I’d like to thank the bill sponsor, Assemblywoman Rozic, for allowing me to be a part of this important legislation,” said Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara (D-Rotterdam). “Engineering affects nearly every facet of our daily lives, from the cars we drive to the foods we eat and the electricity used to heat and cool our homes. Unfortunately right now New York is experiencing a shortage of engineers. Giving them an incentive to work in New York should help reverse that trend.”

While there are scholarships available to certain targeted groups, including social workers and nurses, or for the purpose of enabling people to become mathematics or science educators, there is no statewide financial aid program designed to encourage people to major in engineering and to keep those skills in New York once they graduate.

“With New York ranking 28th overall in the Technology and Workforce Index, more must be done,” Rozic added.

“The problem of a lack of engineering talent is not unique to New York City,” Carlucci said. “Throughout the State of New York, engineers are needed to fill new jobs in an increasingly tech-heavy economy.”

Under this bill, engineering graduates who apply their trade in New York for at least five years will receive financial aid in the form of loan repayment of up to half the four-year cost of tuition at SUNY. The program is also open to graduates of all accredited universities.

“Engineers are needed to power the Empire State’s 21st Century economy,” Borough President Stringer added. “The Empires Engineers Initiative Act is about being competitive around the globe, and making sure we have a solid infrastructure that can handle the demands of a high tech economy. We must work to get this legislation passed right away, and our work starts today.”