July 21 (UPI) -- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that the state will invest $16 million into workforce training and job placement in a strategy to drive down gun violence in 20 cities statewide.
Cuomo said the initiative includes short-term solutions as well as long-term strategies that focus on community-based intervention and prevention to reduce the cycle of violence.
"Gun violence is a public health crisis, in New York State and across the country, and we're attacking it with the same comprehensive, evidence-based approach we used to beat COVID," Cuomo said in a statement.
"We know that simply telling kids to put the gun down doesn't work. We have to give them an alternative. This new funding, for job training and stable, good-paying career placement opportunities for our most vulnerable young people across New York State, does just that."
Cuomo called the funding "an investment in our economy, in our recovery, and in our security" to give young people hope for the future.
The New York Department of Labor will work with local workforce development boards to provide job training, credentialing and career placement services to at-risk youth that will allow them to access good-paying, permanent jobs.
"Our local workforce development boards are proven partners with an extensive history of helping young people improve their lives through job training and placement," Roberta Reardon, New York labor commissioner, said in a statement.
Cuomo's effort follows a similar announcement he made earlier this month to give 2,400 jobs to young people in New York City to curb gun violence. The initiative will support youth in the Capital region, central New York, Finger Lakes, Long Island, Mid-Hudson and western New York.