The Workforce Development Institute (WDI) is a statewide non-profit that works to increase opportunities for all New Yorkers to succeed in the workforce while earning family-sustaining wages. We use a range of tools including “boots on the ground” information, workforce expertise, data analysis, and flexible funding to facilitate projects that help labor unions, employers, educational institutions, and other workforce partners think and act differently regarding hiring, training, educating, and retaining an inclusive and productive workforce.


WDI began in 2003 as a partner to the NYS AFL-CIO and Area Labor Federations to provide workforce training and education services to regional and local unions. Our role evolved as demand for our services grew. We realized we were often the first to identify potential opportunities or challenges in a region, and we saw opportunities in certain sectors - Manufacturing and Energy for example – that have led to new and different roles. Today we focus broadly on the growth and retention of good jobs in NYS through a variety of mechanisms with a variety of partners.