ALBANY — Gov. Kathy Hochul said Monday that 379 employers statewide have identified 18,000 unfilled jobs that can be filled by migrants, including 1,294 jobs on Long Island.
These jobs are open primarily to Venezuelan migrants under the federal Temporary Protected Status waiver, which allows migrants to take jobs as soon as Tuesday. The state Labor Department is connecting businesses seeking employees to migrants who have attained legal work status.
Employers who joined the effort are primarily in lodging and food service, health care and social assistance, manufacturing, administrative support, construction and retail fields. Fifteen of the employers who signed up are in the scientific and professional fields, and Hochul noted that many Venezuelans are skilled professionals fleeing that country, which once had a global petroleum industry.
“Migrants and asylum-seekers came here to work — so let's put them to work,” Hochul said, comparing the migrants to her own Irish immigrant grandparents. “Right now, we have a migrant crisis and a workforce crisis. By connecting work-eligible individuals with jobs and opportunity in New York, we can solve them both and secure a brighter future for all New Yorkers.”
Employers seeking migrant workers were identified through a state “Asylum Seeker Hiring Business Inquiries” portal online. The form asks for the employer’s contacts, industry and jobs that are open with a promise to answer inquiries fast.
A separate “Career Assistance Request Form” for migrants qualified to take jobs ask for contacts, language spoken, and, “Would you be willing to come to a career center near you for assistance with job search?”
Both forms can be found here.
Hochul also announced a campaign to make more migrants who have work authorizations and more employers with job openings aware of the state program. The labor department will use social media and digital channels to circulate a flyer that directs employers to the intake form.
In addition to the job openings on Long Island for which authorized migrants are eligible, another 9,801 are available in New York City; 2,896 are in the Hudson Valley; and 1,521 are in Western New York, with smaller numbers available in other regions, according to the state Department of Labor.
In September, President Joe Biden announced the Temporary Protected Status for some migrants who have been in the U.S. on or before July 31. New York City officials said that would allow more than 15,000 Venezuelans to secure legal work status within 30 days.
Hochul also said Monday that a federal solution is needed to reduce the flow of migrants into the U.S. and specifically into New York City because the city and state can’t handle the 125,000 migrants who already arrived, mostly from the Mexican border. Most are living in government-paid housing in hotels and other private and public properties with state services for food and medical care.
Hochul blames Republicans who control the House of Representatives for a lack of a more manageable federal immigration policy, but her call for reducing the flow of immigrants over the border is echoed by state and local officials nationwide from both major parties, who are critical of the role of Democratic President Joe Biden, a Hochul ally.
“Our hearts are big, but sometimes you have to realize our resources are limited,” Hochul said.