NY Eyes Rule Changes to Hire Thousands Amid Migrant Crisis

(Bloomberg) -- New York state is considering a plan to hire thousands of migrants and asylum-seekers who have legal work status in the US but may face barriers to finding jobs such as language skills or prior experience.

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State agencies have identified about 4,000 positions that could be filled by these individuals, mostly in entry-level roles that are hard to recruit for, according to a proposal by the Department of Civil Service, which was approved earlier this month. The positions are mostly in fields like food service, equipment repairs, facilities management and office assistance.

To make these jobs more accessible, the state is proposing to create “transitional” titles with requirements more in line with the candidates’ qualifications. Once in the job, workers would receive training and support to help them gain the necessary skills to be eligible for permanent roles.

“I’m anxious to get this moving quickly,” Governor Kathy Hochul told reporters in Albany on Tuesday. The plan will promote independence for those who currently have to rely on state services and are supported by taxpayers in shelters, she added.

Hochul has proposed a $2.4 billion plan to help provide for the more than 170,000 migrants who have arrived in New York City since April 2022. She’s also called on the Biden administration to speed up work permits and increase federal aid for migrants, saying that letting them work would benefit the state’s economy and ease the humanitarian crisis.

Mayor Eric Adams expects the city will spend roughly $10.6 billion to care for migrants over the three-year period ending in June 2025. The city spends an average of $352 per night to care for each migrant family, city budget officials said.

“People need to work,” said Adams during a press conference on Tuesday. “Nothing is more anti-American than not having the right to work.”

--With assistance from Ella Ceron.

(Updates with comment from Hochul in fourth paragraph)

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