Assemblywoman Jane Corwin (R,I,C – Clarence) joined Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,C-Canandaigua) along with the Business Council of New York State, National Federation of Independent Business, Unshackle Upstate, New York Farm Bureau, and NYSARC at a press conference to discuss the impact of the proposed $15 per hour minimum wage on New York State’s job market and economic development upstate.

“While there is no question we are working very hard in Western New York to create real and lasting career opportunities and rebuild our regional economy, increasing the minimum wage at this time would hurt the ability of job creators to expand and grow the businesses that we all need to succeed in order to create other well-paying and lasting jobs for the future,” said Corwin. “What New Yorkers across the state want and deserve are real career opportunities, and another forced minimum wage hike only compromises that.”

Supported by a recent study from the Empire Center for New York State Policy and the American Action Forum, that found that the proposed $15 minimum wage could cost the state as many as 588,800 jobs, Corwin, Kolb and their colleagues announced an alternative plan to help get more New Yorkers prepared for some of the leading career paths currently expanding across the state.

The Assembly Minority Conference’s plan would expand the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to assist those New Yorkers who are living off of minimum wage jobs (A.9102 and A.7486) as well as create a youth apprenticeship program to create opportunities for employment and career development (A.8695 and A.8691). According to a report from the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, expanding the EITC could increase employment by as many as 21,363 single mothers and introduce 14,000 individuals into the workforce.

In addition to a recent Siena College poll that showed 87 percent of upstate employers oppose the $15 minimum wage proposal, Corwin asked her constituents about the plan in a recent legislative survey. The survey found that just 23 percent of residents believe increasing the minimum wage would create jobs as opposed to 75.7 percent who believe the state should cut taxes on businesses to ensure job creation.