ACTION BY 2023: Establish a nationally leading economic development incentive administered by Empire State Development to recruit, expand and retain quality jobs and certify businesses that participate.
Nearly four out of 10 middle-market executives acknowledge their growth is constrained by a lack of talent, but also that they offer wages that are too low, use rigid and overly prescriptive HR and recruiting systems, and have unrealistic expectations regarding skills and experience. The Brooking Institution has put forth that forward thinking Economic Development Organizations, that adopt “choice employer” designations, highlight businesses that are paying living wages, offering benefits, and investing in workers can lead to better outcomes for the local economy and workers. For example,
Oklahoma has developed a Quality Jobs incentive program providing quarterly cash payments up to 5% of new payrolls for up to 10 years, for companies that achieve an average wage threshold and $2.5 million in new annual payrolls within three years to qualify. Companies must offer basic health insurance to employees and in some cases, qualifying companies must also attain 75% out-of-state sales. In Georgia, the Quality Jobs Tax Credit supports the growth of higher paying jobs by providing a tax credit for companies that pay at least 10% above the average wage of the county in which they’re located. The credit ranges from $2,500 to $5,000, per new job, per year, for 5 years.
Even when the economy was at its height, not enough middle and high wage occupations were being developed and not enough New Yorkers were being trained to meet the demand. New York has the opportunity to influence employer practices and encourage the transition to higher wage jobs. We encourage the Governor to lead the nation by developing a new economic development incentive administered by Empire State Development to attract, retain and grow quality jobs. Under its existing authority, Empire State Development could modify an existing incentive, such as the Employee Training Assistance Program to provide new and existing employers a refundable tax credit for supporting jobs that provide for
family sustaining wages, benefits, upskilling opportunities internally and economic mobility and advancement, and or recruit and hire from the local workforce development system.