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The White House's Making Care Work Virtual Summit

Earlier today, Governor Kathy Hochul delivered remarks at the White House’s Making Care Work Virtual Summit.

VIDEO of the event is available on YouTube here and in TV quality (h.264, mp4) format here.

AUDIO of the Governor's remarks is available here.

PHOTOS of the event are available on the Governor's Flickr page.

A rush transcript of the Governor's remarks is available below:

Governor Hochul: Well, thank you for the opportunity to participate in this really important conversation with these key administration leaders, Neera and Jen. Thank you, Administrator Bhatt. And of course, someone I love working with almost day to day is Gina Raimondo. You do an extraordinary job to really put the focus on how we can help families participate in the emerging economy.

Also, my fellow governors, love these strong women. They're running hard States, but they're doing it with such dignity, and guts and determination. So, to Tina Kotek in Oregon and to Maura Healy in Massachusetts. We stick together, right?

And also, a lot of women governors have more experience in raising families now and some of the challenges of what it's like to not be able to find the job you want because you don't have childcare. And that's why this is personal to me. I had a great job working as an attorney for Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan a long time ago, but also could not find child care in Washington, D.C. a generation ago. So, I had to leave that job.

So, when I think about how important it is to get care for families so — particularly the women — can enter the workforce and bring a home a bigger paycheck, I know how critical this is. So, I love the fact that President Biden and Vice President Harris are putting a laser focus on rebuilding America, but also focusing on its true strength, which is the people.

And for so long, we had economic development and infrastructure projects, and separating that from taking care of people who actually do that hard work. So, it should no longer be a stand-alone issue, and that's exactly what this administration has challenged. You know, we build roads and bridges, but we don't think about the individuals who have to make that happen.

That's all changing now, and I love that this conversation under this administration is recognizing if we invest in care, you're not just taking care of the family, you're taking care of your economy and investing in economic growth. So that's a sea change, because never before have people really put the two together.

So, we know we can't have state-of-the-art infrastructure or a booming economy if every American family can't afford the child care they need. So, I know how important this is. It's our secret weapon to unleash our potential. And again, this also gives kids a strong foundation in life when the parents can bring home a bigger paycheck. They see their moms out there working in the workforce.

And so, we all know how expensive it is. You mentioned the cost of child care. Imagine the cost of child care in New York City. We’re approaching $25,000, $30,000 when you're raising a toddler or an infant. That's impossible. That's impossible to do, so I'm so grateful for you taking this on, but I'll tell you what has been a real game changer, and I'll tell you two specific examples.

That historic Federal CHIPS and Science Act. When you got that done — and I know it was a huge priority of the President's and Majority Leader Schumer, and everybody worked so hard — but the second that was signed into law, we did our own version in New York. $10 billion modeled after what you did, we call it our Green CHIPS and Science Act.

And I knew that this was a catalyst for change. Transformation in upstate New York where I'm from. Where the unemployment rate was in the double digits when I was growing up. And now we're finally — all those jobs that left — they're finally coming back. And new industries. So, we're so excited about this.

Let me tell you two stories. First of all, Micron. They're coming to New York because we're able to leverage what the federal government did and our State Investments as well. So, one of the proudest days in my administration was when President Biden joined me and Senator Schumer outside of Syracuse — where we'll be rejoining them shortly — to announce the largest private sector investment in American history.

$100 billion over the next 20 years, 50,000 good paying jobs, billions of dollars in tax revenues. But you know what we said? You have to do a couple things here. Patterned after what you set forth with the federal government, you take care of the environment. Everything you do must be sustainable. And you also must help — must sustain the local community, the surrounding community.

So, what they did, they're going to be building on site a child care facility. Now this whole project won't be done for years, but the shovels are already in the ground to build the child care facility. But not just the bricks and mortar. They're investing over $500,000 to the YMCA of Central New York to expand their child care services and early learning options.

So, it's not just government that has to do this. This is what you've done — the genius of what you've done. You put in place the incentives and the carrots that people want to take advantage of — these great investments and tax investments. But also, then you say, “Well, then you have to give something back. You have to support the community where you're making your profits and where you're building jobs.”

So, that's just the start. They have a $500 million community investment fund in the surrounding area to support workforce development opportunities, and skills and training for workers that never even imagined they'd be in these kinds of jobs.

And focusing on veterans and people from underserved communities. So, they're literally out there now recruiting people in downtown Syracuse, where the unemployment is higher and people don't have opportunities. And also, one more thing, which I think is brilliant. We're also changing the curriculum in the surrounding communities.

Focusing on more STEM opportunities, because if you light that spark early, get kids excited about it — and this is working in conjunction with our teachers. Teachers’ unions across the State are saying, “Sure, we'll get involved. We'll change the curriculum, support that in the schools. We're going to be building the future workforce.”

It's not just about the adults today. It's investing in the kids of tomorrow so they can take these jobs years to come. Second story I want to tell you about is Global Foundries. Gina Raimondo, we were up there just a short time ago announcing a huge investment — almost $12 billion in State and federal private sector. Again, semiconductors.

But I remember going out there and meeting the CEO. They invited me to speak during Women's History Month a few years ago when I was Lieutenant Governor. I visited the campus and I looked around and I said, “These are great jobs. 3,000 jobs and growing. I don't see a lot of women here.”

You know, the Women's History Celebration was spinning around a very small area. I said, “How do we change that?” And he said, “Well, what are your recommendations?” I said, “Build a child care facility. People are breaking down the doors to come work for you.” Up in rural upstate New York, you can attract people from all over the country if you say, “We'll take care of you, we'll take care of your family.”

And that’s how we get more women into these good paying jobs and that's what they're doing exactly now with the incentives from the Federal Government as well. So, this is how we do it. They're investing in community and worker investments and expanding the first in the nation Semiconductor Registered Apprenticeship Program.

So, that's what we do. You focus on the people who are going to be your workers. You let them know they're valued, they'll stay longer. Their kids will be healthier. They'll have a mom and dad who can work, or two parents, or two moms, or two dads, or whatever your family is. We'll be able to take care of families.

So, focusing also on underserved communities — people have been waiting a long time to be recognized. They're sitting out there saying, “We have the talent, but not the role models.” No one comes and says to this kid in high school, “You could be working in manufacturing semiconductors, just join this program.”

That's what we're trying to fix right now. So, through these programs — I just want to tell you that we're investing so much, but not just in CHIPS and Science, also in transportation. If we want people to build projects like I-81 in Syracuse. There's also money from the federal government to help us get workers on the jobs and providing child-care for those great paying jobs as well.

So, this is where the future lies. We're building a State and a country under President Biden and Vice President Harris' leadership where everybody has a chance to succeed. So, I just want to say thanks to everybody who's putting the laser focus on this. The initiatives keep coming.

And I'll lastly close with this: I'll be signing a Budget — hopefully this week — that'll have the first in the nation requirement prenatal care. When women need to take time off work to take care of their babies before they're born, will now be paid leave. So, we're also saying before you even have your children, we want to make sure that they're born healthy. So, that's a focus even during pregnancy, all the way on up to how we take care of our people.

And I want to thank this administration for making it easier on us in state government to do that as we continue to work together. So, thank you for allowing me to participate today.