$33,000 in Clean-Energy Funding Used as Seed Money for Adult Education Program
July 21, 2011
A $33,000 award from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) helped put 12 local students on track to high-paying jobs in the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) field – including the knowledge of how to decrease energy consumption.
The success of the first year of the program prompted BOCES to continue the classes this fall, creating a chance for adults to spend eight months learning a high-demand skill. NYSERDA funding helped offset tuition to make the course – designed for adult students -- more affordable.
Classes included 350 hours of training, four afternoons a week and some Saturdays for eight months during the 2010-11 school year. Students received 24 hours of training in green technology and awareness, combustion analysis, fuel efficiency, electricity, gas heat and refrigeration. The students also earned nationally-recognized certifications that will increase their employment and earning potential.
“NYSERDA is proud to be working with Capital Region BOCES to help create jobs in a growing field, as well as creating clean-energy awareness among budding technicians,” said Francis J. Murray Jr., President and CEO of NYSERDA. “As NYSERDA continues to encourage New Yorkers to improve the energy efficiency of their homes and businesses through energy assessments and funding incentives, the need for these skills continues to grow.”
NYSERDA also sponsors the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program, which uses a whole-house approach to improve the energy efficiency of a home. This often includes recommendations for improvements to HVAC systems. So far in 2011, the number of Home Performance projects in New York rose nearly 24 percent over the same time period of 2010, illustrating the growing need for technicians skilled in clean-energy technology in the HVAC field.
Some graduates have already seen success thanks to the program. Anthony Lewis, a 2004 high school graduate from Troy, enrolled in the program in August, 2010. Soon after graduation, he was hired by GLOBALFOUNDRIES, which will soon be opening its 1,400-employee chip fabrication plant in Malta.
“It was the best investment I ever made, career-wise,” Lewis said of his classes. “I got a good 10, 15 years worth of knowledge just being in the classroom.”
Other successful graduates include Todd Raponi, an unemployed bricklayer who got a job after graduation with a local HVAC company; and Michael West, already an employee with CA Albright and Sons of Coxsackie, who upgraded and enhanced his technical skills.
The BOCES program is continuing this September, without NYSERDA funding. Tuition will cost $4,977 for the eight-month, 450-hour course. Nevertheless, BOCES IS confident the classes will continue to attract students.
“We do think it fills a need, and we’re happy that we’re able to plug that,” said Ray Paglieri, coordinator of adult education and special projects at BOCES.
The Capital Region BOCES offers more than 40 programs of study for high school and adult students at its Career and Technical School campus in Colonie and Schoharie (www.capitalregionboces.org ).
NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA professionals work to protect our environment and create clean-energy jobs. NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance innovative energy solutions in New York since 1975.
Last Updated: 01/21/2014