Celebrating The American Workforce

The American worker, in farms, factories and small businesses, makes our country the great place that it is. For years, Americans have been creating revolutionary ways to build things faster and more efficiently, working together to make life better for others, and Labor Day is our time to celebrate their hard work and ingenuity.
The first Labor Day celebration was held in New York City on Tuesday, September 5, 1882. In 1884, as originally suggested by the Central Labor Union, Labor Day was held on the first Monday of September, making this the designated day for the holiday. Originally, the holiday was full of parades, large public gatherings and speeches by union leaders, educators and public officials. Over the years, it has evolved into a day to spend time with family and friends.
New Yorkers are proud, hard-working people who labor in a variety of industries across the state. Our state’s workforce provides services and products that we rely upon and that allow communities to function. The foundation for progress is built on the talents and dedication of a talented workforce.  
The success of businesses and skilled workers is paramount to a thriving economy and development. To stay competitive globally and nationally, today’s workforce must possess the technical skills sought after by employers. Realizing this need, workforce development and training is an essential part of strengthening the state’s emerging industries. My colleagues in the Assembly Minority and I have been long-time advocates of career learning and workforce preparation programs including:

  • “High-Tech Worker NY” legislation (A.5195, Kolb) that would provide a Personal Income Tax exemption of up to $50,000 for employees who completed a high-tech training program; and
  • The “Learning for Work Program” to accelerate career readiness by offering apprenticeships and enhanced professional degrees (A.8695, Lupinacci). 

Many of the businesses in Upstate New York were created locally by people with a strong desire to write their own success story. According to the U.S. Small Business Association, there are more than 2 million small businesses in New York that employ close to 4 million people. Fifty-one percent of New York businesses employ fewer than 500 employees, with 19 percent of them having 20 employees or fewer.
As the only legislative leader in state government who has run a successful business, I will continue to promote measures like the “Small Business Full Employment Act” (A.5898-A), which would create an environment where small businesses can flourish in New York. When businesses flourish, their employees have a greater quality of life and in turn, the state’s economy thrives.
While enjoying the holiday weekend, grilling out with friends or spending extra time with the family, reflect on the Americans who have worked long hours, providing the products that make our lives so comfortable, and transporting all those products to businesses, big and small, in our communities.

What do you think? I want to hear from you. Send me your feedback, suggestions and ideas regarding this or any other issue facing New York State. You can always contact my district office at (315) 781-2030, e-mail me at kolbb@assembly.state.ny.us, find me by searching for Assemblyman Brian Kolb on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.

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