Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb

Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb

Legislative Column by Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R-Canandaigua)

The ingenuity and perseverance of the American workforce has been changing the world since the Industrial Revolution, and on the first Monday of every September, we take time to celebrate Labor Day. For more than 100 years, Labor Day has honored the sacrifices and achievements the American worker has made to make our country a world leader. In order to continue being a world leader, our workforce must adapt to new changes in the industry.

Many young New Yorkers are being guided toward attending college and taking out student loans that leave them in debt for years after they graduate. However, half of the jobs in New York State are middle-skill jobs, requiring more than a high school diploma and less than a four-year degree. These are trade, tech and manufacturing jobs, with positions that need to be filled to help many of our small businesses grow. These jobs pay well, too. The average salary of the 435,000 manufacturing jobs in New York State is $64,300.


Each year, manufacturing jobs are becoming increasingly complex and require more skills to keep up with rapidly advancing technology. Workers need to be well versed in science, technology, engineering and math. In an effort to help grow the workforce, my colleagues in the Assembly Minority Conference and I have drafted legislation that would create incentives for businesses and students.

The “High-Tech Worker NY” legislation would provide a Personal Income Tax exemption of up to $50,000 for employees who completed a high-tech training program (A.04418, Kolb). The “Learning for Work Program” sets up paths for high school students to accelerate their career readiness by offering apprenticeship programs in trades such as plumbing, electrical and construction, while also creating an avenue for young people to pursue advanced professional degrees (A.04333, Lupinacci).


As the only legislative leader who has owned and 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 for small businesses to grow by eliminating unnecessary taxes, and “Grow NY” (A.6105, Kolb), which is an economic pilot program that would stimulate growth in the state economy by providing technical assistance for expanding businesses, and by eliminating certain taxes on manufacturers (A.6758, Kolb).

Take a moment to celebrate the American worker, and the contributions you make in our communities every day, from the small business owners who support community programs to the factory worker or farmer who keeps small businesses going. Labor Day is your holiday. Moving forward, it is important we do all that we can to help our workers flourish and ensure they have skills necessary to ensure a bright and prosperous future.

Email Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb at kolbb@nyassembly.gov, find him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.

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