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New York's economy has been reshaped and the future ahead depends on our innovation. Join the New York Association of Training and Employment Professionals and NYS Economic Development Council for a virtual event, Forward Together: Fueling New York's Economic Engine, aimed at informing, inspiring and connecting you to national best practices, regional shifts and local collaborators for economic and workforce solutions. 

Registration is now closed!

Are you a NYATEP Member? Use your discount code.​

Bronze Member - BRONZE

Silver Member - SILVER

Gold Member - GOLD

Platinum Member - PLATINUM


Discounts can be used on early bird and standard registration rates.


Interested in Sponsoring?

Don’t miss the premier conference in New York for workforce development. Join us to share how your tools and services could benefit the system; and to meet those on the cutting edge of workforce in NY.



Registrations after September 25th - $325

Workshop Sponsor - includes one registration - $1,000

Virtual Exhibitor - includes one registration -  $700










TUESDAY OCTOBER 27 - 12:30PM - 4:30PM


12:30 PM - 12:45PM           WELCOME & KICK OFF

  • Patrick Kelly, CEO, St. Lawrence IDA, Chair of the NYS Economic Development Council

  • Brian Williams, Commissioner, Rensselaer County Department of Employment & Training, President of the NY Association of Training and Employment Professionals

Welcome from U.S. Senator Charles Schumer

12:45PM - 1:15PM - Forward Together: The Future of Workforce & Economic Development

We are kicking off this year’s conference with NYATEP Executive Director, Melinda Mack and NYSEDC Executive Director Ryan Silva as they reflect on the challenges of the last 8 months, and the opportunities ahead as we go Forward Together.  As New York works to rebuild its economy, the work of workforce and economic developers will be different, and the connection between the two will be more important than ever.

1:15PM - 2:00PM - The Role of Community Colleges in Economic Recovery

We will be joined by City University of New York Chancellor Felix Matos Rodriguez and State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras for a “fireside chat” about how two of the largest university systems in the country are managing COVID-19, the changing economy and their role in statewide economic recovery.


Moderated by: Chauncy Lennon, Lumina Foundation


2:00PM - 2:15PM                 BREAK


2:15PM - 3:45PM                 WORKSHOPS

Building Back Better: Focusing on Job Quality

COVID-19 has given us a chance to rebuild our economy to be more inclusive, equitable and to create good jobs for New Yorkers. Join this dynamic panel of national experts and local implementers as they navigate the policies, practices and mindset shifts necessary to build our local economies back better. 

Panelists: Janice Urbanik, National Fund for Workforce Solutions; Rick Plympton, Optimax; Edgar Romney, Amalgamated Bank; Robert Simpson, CenterState CEO; Mandy Townsend, JVS Boston

Moderated by: Sarah Lee, Think Dutchess


Pathways for Career Change: Transitioning from Hospitality to Healthcare Jobs

Service workers possess many baseline skills that are transportable across a wide range of industry sectors and organizational structures. These transportable skills can allow workers to build bridges to new roles and industries such as health care. These skills are broader and more difficult to measure than technical skills, causing them to be undervalued in many job postings. The Federal Reserve of Atlanta will show how O'NET's descriptors for workplace activities measure transportable skills across industries and create new pathways to jobs.

Presented by: Stuart Andreason, Sarah Miller and Pearse Haley of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

DEI - Your Dream, Your Team: Creating Career Pathways for Job Seekers with Disabilities

Chenango-Delaware-Otsego Workforce and the Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) Announces the “Your Dream, Your Team” Website.  This website was developed as a resource to improve career exploration and employment and to be used as a toolkit to help jobseekers with disabilities.  The new website was created as a result of the Disability Employment Initiative grant. The goal is to improve career pathways outcomes for youth with disabilities through career training, employment, and supportive services.


The website offers useful tools, guidance, forms, and other resources to support job seekers with disabilities as well as the individuals and organizations who support them, including community-based organizations, employment counselors, Disability Resource Coordinators, and parents who want to introduce their child to a career pathway and prepare them for a stable, long-term career.  The site also offers a variety of resources for businesses that are designed to help businesses learn how to be more inclusive and support employees with disabilities.

Presented by: Alan Sessions, Kathy DeAngelo, and Allyssa Wright, Chenango-Delaware-Otsego Workforce; Maria Lombardi, Hempstead Works in Long Island; Mary McLaughlin, Tompkins Workforce NY in Ithaca

Talent Attraction and Retention

Attracting and retaining talent is a challenge all communities are facing in trying to build sustainable economies. Quality of Life, access to economic opportunity, and livable/workable communities are all factors job seekers take into consideration when identifying where they want to locate. In response to this challenge, organizations from across the country are developing programs to cultivate an engaged and culture-focused business community to drive economic growth. These programs help create connectivity and a stronger sense of community, leading to the attraction and retention of talented professionals and better economic outcomes.


Panelists: Meilia Leedy, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, Greg Handel, Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce, Cindy Frey, Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce

Moderated by: Kate Manley, Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce  


3:45PM - 4:30PM - Do You Believe in Magic?

Grab a craft New York beer or Finger Lakes wine and settle in for an incredible performance by mentalist Michael Karl. In an era where we could all use a little joy, let’s stretch our imaginations, shift our perspectives and make the impossible feel possible -- even if it feels like magic.


9:00AM - 9:15AM                WELCOME

  • Congressman Morelle

9:15AM - 10:15AM - The Road Ahead for Sectors Most Impacted by COVID-19

Across New York, over a half million people from accommodations and food service are on the unemployment rolls and as we enter the winter months uncertainty reigns for the future of key sectors in New York.  Join leaders in tourism, hospitality and retail industries as they come together for an exclusive panel discussion on the impact of the last 8 months and current issues they are experiencing. They will share how they are innovating to survive, how their practices are shifting and what is on the road ahead as they work to recover.

Panelists: Leola Edelin, Renaissance Hotel, Albany; Beth Rivera, Uncommon Goods; Jessica Woodson, Bonura Hospitality 

Moderated by: Patrick Kaler, Visit Buffalo Niagara


10:15AM - 10:30AM             BREAK

10:30AM - 12:00PM             WORKSHOPS


Clean Energy: Building Back with Renewable Energy

Governor Cuomo announced the largest renewable energy solicitations ever issued in the U.S. Together, offshore wind and land-based renewable energy opportunities for up to 4,000 MW are expected to spur over $7 billion in investments and create more than 4,500 jobs.  The state is also launching a new process with local communities to identify "Build Ready" sites to fast-track construction of land-based renewable energy projects


Presented by: Doreen Harris, NYSERDA

Panelists: Houtan Moaveni and Adele Ferranti, NYSERDA

The Creative Economy: Striving To Turn New Challenges Into Future Opportunities

Nationally, estimates show a loss of 2.7 million jobs and more than $150 billion in sales and services for the creative industries. Many regional economies rely on cultural districts, the creative class, and entertainment. Listen in as leaders at the top of their game in music, film, theatre, arts and entertainment from WNY to NYC share how COVID-19 has transformed how they collaborate, the impact on performers and the behind the scenes crews, and how it is leading to new art and innovation.


Panelists: Sonia Clark, Art Park; Jeremy Hoyle, Tralf Music Hall/ Entertainment Services Int’l, Tim “Quake” Mark, Touring Production Manager and FOH Engineer, John Scardino, Local 52 Motion Picture Studio Mechanics

Moderated by: Patricia Robinson, Hot 97/ WBLS/WLIB


Community Colleges Training Talent: An Economic Development and Workforce Development Strategy

The State University of New York (SUNY) and the City University of New York (CUNY) provide hundreds of workforce development occupational training programs each year that prepare individuals for a job or help incumbent workers gain valuable skills. Many of these programs are designed with employers to ensure relevancy, can be customized for a particular company and offered on campus or at an employer’s site. Join us to discuss how community colleges can drive economic development by providing workforce solutions for businesses in your region or how workforce development boards can partner with SUNY and CUNY to train customers for a job available in their community.


Panelists: Jeanne Eschbach, SUNY Corning, Christopher Marx, SUNY Ulster, Evelyn Fernandez-Ketcham, CUNY Hostos
Moderated by: Denise Zieske, SUNY

Delivering Workforce Services in a New Remote Climate

In the wake of recent events, workforce services are more critical than ever.  In order to create pathways to quality jobs, it is imperative for organizations to deliver high-quality career services through new platforms and delivery models. We will show you how we’ve converted training to virtual content using an open-source learning management system. Learn best practices for remote delivery of creating career pathways, online resume development, job matching, and remote interviewing and discover a revolutionary approach for engaging employers, managing contractors, targeting underrepresented populations, managing internships and effective ways to use technology for developing work-readiness programming.


Presented by: Chris Bernhardt, Grant Associates, Lee Koslow, Rochester Works and NYSDOL

Breaking Through the Digital Divide: Collective Action Movements & on the Ground Efforts Cultivating Change 

The digital divide is now one of the top barriers keeping job seekers from accessing employment. In the US there are currently 48 million American workers who lack digital literacy and problem-solving skills, in addition to thousands across NY who lack access to basic broadband services.  Although COVID-19 has exacerbated the digital divide there are local and statewide movements underway that are addressing the skills, infrastructure, legislative, and financial needs of communities across NYS and the nation.  Come learn more about what is being done to address the digital divide through this interactive panel featuring guests from Baltimore, the NYS legislature, philanthropy, and skills training community.  

Panelists: NYS Senator Kevin Parker; Derrick Lewis, The Bronx Community Foundation; Chrissie Powell , Byte Back Baltimore & Baltimore Digital Equity Coalition

Moderator: Caitlyn Brazil, Per Scholas


12:00PM - 12:45PM                LUNCH (OFFLINE)

12:45PM - 1:45PM                  WORKSHOPS

Exploring the Secrets to Success in OSOS

Please join representatives from the NYSDOL One Stop Operating System (OSOS) team to discuss best practices for increasing outcomes for the WIOA Primary Indicators of Performance during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. The session will focus on relevant case studies, data entry tips and strategies to help ensure improved performance on the Credential and Measurable Skill Gains measures while adapting to new service delivery methods during this unprecedented time. Time will be allotted for questions and discussion.

Presented by: Rebecca Kline (NYSDOL), Susan Carimando (NYSDOL)

Politics, Policy and the Impact of D.C. on Workforce Development

The local workforce systems across the country are heavily reliant on federal workforce funding to support education, job training and employment. As the 2020 election looms, join a roundtable discussion of leaders from across the country, as they contend with the federal politics of investing in workforce development in a COVID-19 world, and what their predictions are for the future of workforce policy and funding.

Presented by: Chris Andresen, Dutko; Tonja Mettlach, Massachusetts Workforce Association; Carrie Amann, Pennsylvania Workforce Association

Moderated by: Melinda Mack, NYATEP

Expanding Youth Work-based Learning Models

As young adults struggle to reenter the labor market and get a foothold into exciting careers, partnerships are emerging to advance workforce strategies that simultaneously support young adult learning and earning, using industry engaged work-based learning and youth apprenticeship.  Hear from leading national experts at New America, as they work across their networks to expand high quality apprenticeship opportunities through their Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship. Additionally, we'll be joined by New York-based Here-to-Here who will share their experiences working in the New York City schools to develop strong work-based learning programs in Information Technology, Finance and Healthcare, and connect primarily low income youth to careers.  You learn how they are tackling employer engagement, youth participation and addressing necessary systems change to expand opportunities for young adults.

Presented by: Apurva Mehrotra, Here to Here; Brent Parton and Michael Prebil, New America

A SHIFT to SKILLS for the Future of NY  

There has been a lot of discussion in 2020 about skills, workforce, and the need to upskill and retrain workers as quickly as possible due to displacement of millions of workers across New York.  New models of learning are on the rise.  This session will give an overview of the importance of skills and short-term credentials/training, and how educators, workforce professionals and learners can upskill and move into new fields of work, including new energy, tech and more. 


Panelists: Jamai Blivin, Innovate+ Educate (I+E), Amber Garrison Duncan, Lumina Foundation, Ross Gould, Workforce Development Institute (WDI)

Moderated by: Lois Johnson, Workforce Development Institute (WDI)

1:45PM - 2:00PM                    WRAP UP

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