Targeted Sectors

Although the WDI works in all sectors of the economy, below are some specific sectors that hold particular promise in terms of good jobs:

  • Manufacturing - Across NYS, we see Manufacturing making a comeback. Companies are retooling/retrenching and making investments in product innovation, equipment, facilities, and the workforce. We believe a healthy manufacturing base is a key driver to growth of the rest of the economy. However, the jobs associated with today’s manufacturing are very different from those of previous generations. We are interested in seeing these new jobs – with solid wages and career trajectories – come to NYS.
  • Energy - There is growing recognition that the energy grid needs redesign and greater resiliency. Both an aging-out of the current energy workforce and a shift towards renewable and smart technologies that require new skills are complicating factors from a workforce perspective. These jobs are highly skilled and well paid, and we expect to see their continued growth.


"New York State and the Jobs of Offshore Wind Energy" explores the skills and occupations required to take an offshore wind power plant from an idea through development and construction to spinning turbines generating electricity. This report contains: 1) an overview of the industry and technology; 2) a description of the skills and occupations in the industry; 3) an analysis of New York’s workforce, the skills and occupations already in New York and the existing workforce gaps; 4) potential training programs for New York’s workforce to capitalize on this emerging industry and 5) a detailed case study of the only currently operating offshore wind power plant in the United States. 

Download this report here. To request printed copies of this report, contact WDI at 518-272-3500 or

  • Forest Economy - The forest economy is a vital part of New York State’s industrial identity. New Yorkers have been logging and producing forest-born products for centuries. New York’s forest economy employs tens of thousands of people and generates billions of dollars in output every year. What is harvested in New York’s 19 million acres of forest is processed downstream into an impressive array of products. Companies that consume New York’s forest harvest can be found in every region of the state as well as outside our borders. WDI has worked closely with its partners in the New York State Senate, Empire State Forest Products Association, industry employers, and academia to put in place innovative, practical workforce development programs for incumbent workers and those in the pipeline.


WDI is pleased to share this report, which provides an update on WDI’s forest economy programs. We welcome questions and feedback that help advance understanding of this important industry and its workforce dynamics.