Workforce Development Institute (WDI) is a statewide non-profit that works to grow and keep good jobs in NYS. We use a range of tools — including “boots on the ground” information, workforce expertise, and funding — to facilitate projects that build workforce skills and strengthen employers’ ability to hire, promote, and retain workers. Our work often fills gaps not covered by other organizations and is accomplished through partnerships and collaborations with businesses, unions, other non-profits, educational institutions, and government. 

Our work is always demand driven in that it often starts with employer or market needs (i.e. Employer A needs Machinists in Central NY, or Employers A, B, and C cannot find coders in the Capital Region). However, our true focus is on the worker. Although the types of projects we facilitate and support vary, they must all have a positive and measurable impact to the 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.