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$25M program could train workers in N.Y. for clean-energy jobs

By Eric Reinhardt (ereinhardt@cnybj.com)

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Gov. Kathy Hochul on Feb. 17 announced a $25 million federal-grant proposal to provide clean-energy training and job placement for displaced fossil-fuel workers and members of disadvantaged communities. The proposal has the support of NYSERDA, the New York State Department of Labor, and the New York Community Colleges Energy Equity Consortium (NYCCEE). (PHOTO CREDIT: NYSERDA TWITTER)

The state is seeking a $25 million federal grant to train New Yorkers for new clean-energy job opportunities.

Those targeted would include displaced workers in the fossil-fuel sector and members of “disadvantaged communities,” per a Feb. 17 news release.

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the $25 million statewide federal-grant proposal. It has the support of NYSERDA, the New York State Department of Labor, and the New York Community Colleges Energy Equity consortium (NYCCEE). 

Additionally, the proposal will support community colleges with industry-driven curriculum development and micro-credentialing and “provide a host of wraparound services to assist individuals with career success,” Hochul’s office said. 

The work under this proposal supports the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act) to deliver at least 35 percent of benefits from clean-energy investments to disadvantaged communities, with the goal actually being 40 percent. 

About the grant proposal

On behalf of the statewide collaborative, NYSERDA submitted a $25 million proposal for a funding opportunity through the U.S. Economic Development Association’s (EDA) Good Jobs Challenge. 

Under NYSERDA’s proposal, NYCCEE will train 2,000 new workers and reskill 1,500 existing workers followed by placement in quality, well-paying clean energy jobs, with a special focus on reaching underserved communities and priority populations. 

Arch Street Communications, a White Plains–based, women-owned business with experience in clean energy and energy efficiency, would support program implementation if the proposal to EDA is funded, per Hochul’s office.

NYCCEE — a consortium of 24 SUNY/CUNY community colleges, employers, community-based organizations, unions, faith leaders and state and local government — will focus existing resources and explore opportunities to leverage state, federal, and private funding to develop new training and career preparation in building electrification, offshore wind, solar, and advanced manufacturing. 

Each of the sectors will be led respectively by the Association for Energy Affordability (AEA); the Center for Economic Growth (CEG) and the NYC Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC); the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC); and MACNY, the Manufacturers Association. 

NYSERDA and the state Department of Labor will also work with this effort to “ensure it aligns” with the recommendations of the New York State Climate Action Council and the Just Transition Working Group, as well as with the state’s overall workforce goals and objectives, Hochul’s office said.

In addition, participating CUNY/SUNY colleges will work together to develop curricula and pre-apprenticeships, structure distance and hybrid learning offerings, and build classes and programs that tap into their respective strengths. 

Supplementing the $25 million application for federal funds, NYSERDA would provide an additional $3 million in cost share from the Clean Energy Fund and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, in addition to $500,000 from AVANGRID, Inc., and $250,000 from the New York City–based NoVo Foundation.         

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