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. Our work supports our partners from the labor movement, employers, and education and training organizations to think and act differently regarding hiring, training, and retaining an inclusive and productive workforce. Our priority is to ensure working people have the opportunity to achieve economic self-sufficiency. 

We work across many sectors and industries, including with unions in the Building and Construction Trades, private and public sectors, as well as with employers in manufacturing, transportation, healthcare, and nonprofit. 

All these industries are facing demographic and market factors that require employers to offer career opportunities that are attractive to modern workers. We cultivate partnerships with those who are offering quality jobs. Those that are most successful have common characteristics, including:

  • Family-sustaining wages that allow people to go beyond subsistence survival, 
  • Family-securing benefits that protect employees both now, and in the future, 
  • Employer-supported training to develop skills, and earn certifications and credentials, 
  • Clear pathways for future career growth, and 
  • Safe and inclusive workplaces.

Our partners include community-based organizations serving people from all backgrounds, including those from disadvantaged communities and with barriers to employment. We support their work in many ways and serve as a bridge to connect these future workers to career pathways with quality, inclusive employers.

Our depth of expertise, network of partners,and statewide presence empower us to understand the needs of the modern workforce and drive solutions that remove barriers. As new sectors emerge and create opportunities for workers, we fill gaps not covered by other organizations, with the goal of improving the lives of workers and Strengthening New York’s Workforce.