Governor Hochul Announces $25 Million Proposal to Transition Existing Workers and Train Individuals from Disadvantaged Communities for Clean Energy Jobs
NYSERDA Pursuing Federal Grant to Support the New York Community Colleges Energy Equity Consortium to Ramp Up Training and Job Preparation for 3,500 New Yorkers
February 17, 2022
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced a $25 million statewide federal grant proposal supported by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the New York State Department of Labor and the New York Community Colleges Energy Equity Consortium. This proposal will take a multi-faceted approach to reskill and train New Yorkers, including displaced workers in the fossil fuel sector and members of disadvantaged communities, for new clean energy job opportunities. 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. The work under this proposal supports the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act) to deliver 35 percent with a goal of 40 percent of benefits from clean energy investments to disadvantaged communities and secure a just transition.
"This is the first-of-its-kind public-private statewide collaborative that reflects a joint commitment from government, industry, labor, education, manufacturing, and community-based organizations to prepare individuals from disadvantaged communities for New York's clean energy transition," Governor Hochul said. "To train New York's workforce of the future, we need to think creatively so we can leverage existing expertise and resources to grow this new and exciting sector - and once again - New York State is leading the way forward."
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. 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 the Manufacturing Association of Central New York (MACNY). NYSERDA and NYSDOL will inform 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.
NYSERDA President and CEO and Climate Action Council Co-Chair Doreen M. Harris said, "It's clear that the work we are doing in New York State to bolster green job training and workforce development, especially through a comprehensive framework like this, is exactly what needs to be done nationally to ensure that all individuals from every community have the same opportunities to participate in the clean energy transition. NYSERDA is proud to help lead this effort and will continue our efforts to build a bright future for New York's clean energy workforce."
New York State Department of Labor Commissioner and Just Transition Working Group Co-Chair Roberta Reardon said, "New York State is ushering in a new era of equity by ensuring that disadvantaged communities are prominently included in our rapidly expanding clean energy industry. The Department of Labor stands ready to help connect New Yorkers to training opportunities that will prepare them for rewarding careers in a field will help meet our state's energy needs in an environmentally responsible manner."
Additionally, 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. Credentials in clean energy will be developed by NYCCEE with active participation from industry advisors and environmental justice experts. Participants will also be offered wrap-around services in transportation, daycare, counseling, and other areas determined by local need.
NYSERDA submitted the funding proposal to the EDA Good Jobs Challenge as New York's statewide effort closely aligns with the goal of the federal challenge - which is to get Americans back to work by building and strengthening systems and partnerships that bring together employers who have hiring needs with other key entities to train workers with skills that lead to well-paying jobs. 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 NoVo Foundation.
Chief Executive Officer of AVANGRID Dennis V. Arriola said, "As a leading sustainable energy company, building the clean energy workforce of the future is a vision we share with Governor Hochul. As the industry lead for NYCCEE, AVANGRID's collaboration with NYSERDA provides a holistic program to help ensure we are developing a talent pipeline of diverse workers that represent the communities we serve. This program is the culmination of many conversations with stakeholders including community groups and local community colleges that focused on solutions that could meet our mutual goals to help build a skilled workforce that will help enable the clean energy transformation."
Senior Special Projects Coordinator for the NoVo Foundation Martin Kirk said, "We understand that this federal grant opportunity would have a beneficial impact in New York State, in that it would provide critical resources to develop a robust clean energy skills training system."
Under NYSERDA's EDA 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 NY women-owned business with long-standing experience in clean energy and energy efficiency, would support program implementation if the proposal to EDA is funded.
This statewide effort builds on NYSERDA's commitment of more than $120 million to support new and existing workforce development and training initiatives, helping prepare over 40,000 New Yorkers for growing clean energy job opportunities by 2025 and assisting clean energy businesses with recruitment, hiring, and on-the-job training. In March 2021, NYSERDA was chosen by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S Department of Labor to collaborate on their first Social Impact Partnerships to Pay for Results (SIPPRA) Project, which is designed to provide clean energy job training to unemployed and low-income workers, increase participants' wages and evaluate the training's effectiveness. The project directly supports clean energy workforce training and will help eliminate barriers to accessing quality jobs - especially within disadvantaged communities.
Senator Chuck Schumer said, "The fight against climate change isn't just an investment in our environment; it also means good paying jobs, lower energy costs, and economic opportunity. NYSERDA's proposal puts workers and the disadvantaged communities that have been on the frontlines of the climate crisis first and will train the next generation for thousands of clean energy jobs to fuel a brighter future for all New Yorkers," said Senator Schumer. "From offshore wind to clean hydrogen, New York has been leading the nation in innovation and production for green energy and projects like this will supercharge our efforts as we transition away from fossil fuels. I will continue to fight tooth and nail to make sure New York is able to power the fight against climate change and our workers have the all skills and support they need to secure high-quality, good-paying jobs."
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said, "NYSERDA's project proposal is a smart, innovative approach to a clean energy transition. It would allow New York to build a robust green energy workforce while also ensuring that displaced workers from the fossil fuel industry and members of disadvantaged communities aren't left behind in the process. I urge the Economic Development Administration to grant this proposal full consideration."
Representative Paul D. Tonko said, "Training our clean energy workforce has immense benefits on our work to address the climate crisis, while also driving innovation and strengthening America's economy. I've long led the push in Congress to invest in clean energy jobs of the future, and I am thrilled by today's announcement that will build powerfully on that effort. My thanks to Governor Hochul, NYSERDA and all those whose commitment is bringing new opportunities to thousands of New Yorkers and ensuring that our state leads the nation in the fight for a stronger, cleaner, and more inclusive future."
State Senator Kevin Parker said, "As we work to get through the pandemic, providing jobs at a living wage with benefits is going to be essential to get families back on their feet. I applaud Governor Hochul and NYSERDA for this initiative which will provide clean energy job opportunities for communities in need. The Good Jobs challenge will ensure we provide opportunities for those seeking employment, while simultaneously working towards our clean energy goals."
International Vice President for The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Michael D. Welsh said, "Working collaboratively with the State of New York and community colleges is an effective way to bring new, well-prepared trainees to our union career pathways programs. IBEW appreciates how this program represents the interests of the state's union workers, many of whom increasingly see a future in clean energy jobs."
Co-Founder and Vice President of The 400 Foundation Reverend Dr. Kahli Mootoo said, "There is a simple brilliance in partnering with our public higher education institutions, to provide pathways to emerging green career opportunities, and provide those opportunities to those in historically disadvantaged and marginalized communities. A simple brilliance, in the framework of justice that NYCCEE was initiated, that provides the foundation of generational wealth for those once forgotten, while providing environmentally nurturing energy resources that will power the next 100 generations. Simply Brilliant."
President of Kingsborough Community College of The City University of New York (CUNY) Dr. Claudia V. Schrader said, "NYCCEE's goals strongly align with CUNY's efforts and New York State's commitment to thousands of youths and adults who deserve the opportunity to secure good-paying jobs in the clean energy industry. The NYCCEE plan leverages the strength of New York's public college system; we look forward to collaborating with stakeholders to identify curriculum and remove barriers for access to these 21st century business opportunities."
President of Monroe Community College of the State University of New York (SUNY Monroe) Dr. DeAnna Burt-Nanna said, "SUNY Monroe is thrilled to be part of this opportunity to help forge a robust curriculum-sharing and training system among colleges that will create substantial benefits for students from economically disadvantaged and historically marginalized backgrounds. NYCCEE's important partnerships will help provide career paths to all who want them in the clean energy economy."
Executive Director of the New York Association of Training and Employment Professionals (NYATEP) Melinda Mack said, "We believe NYSERDA and NYCCEE are uniquely positioned to get Americans back to work in good jobs. NYATEP believes in building and strengthening partnerships, like this one, to connect employers who have hiring needs with organizations that support and train individuals from underserved communities and dislocated workers."
Executive Director of the Association for Energy Affordability David Hepinstall said, "As NYCCEE's Building Electrification sector lead, AEA is committed to integrating the expertise of our many stakeholders to create successful workforce development pathways aimed at providing learners with the emerging skills needed for in-demand jobs."
Chief Economic Development Officer for The Center for Economic (CEG) Growth Mark Eagan said, "To aid NYSERDA's efforts, CEG will use our regional leadership role to convene clean energy employers, students, adult learners, and other key stakeholders to ensure that all parties can take advantage of this program. We will provide subject matter experts to advise on curriculum and program development; lead and attend meetings as appropriate, review documents and compile data to ensure barriers are addressed and program successes are documented and replicated."
Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer for The NYC Economic Development Corporation Lindsay Greene said, "NYSERDA's goals in pursuing the Good Jobs Challenge strongly align with NYCEDC's efforts and reflect New York City's commitment to thousands of youth and adults who deserve the opportunity to secure goodpaying jobs. The NYSERDA plan for a robust curriculumsharing and training system across campuses is sound, and we support its emphasis on environmental justice."
President and CEO of The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) Larry Sherwood said, "IREC is pleased to serve as the solar sector lead for this initiative. In service of the consortium, we will bring our National Clean Energy Workforce Alliance and the annual National Solar Jobs Census, and our interactive Career Maps to help New Yorkers secure good jobs."
President and CEO of The Manufacturers Association of Central New York (MACNY) Randy Wolken said, "MACNY is committed to using our regional and statewide leadership role to convene advanced manufacturing companies in the clean energy supply chain, as well as students, adult learners, and other key stakeholders to ensure that all can take advantage of this program."
Founder and CEO of Arch Street Communications Nora Madonick said, "When New York's clean energy workforce looks in the mirror in 10 years, what will it see? With NYCCEE's help, our future will fully reflect New York. Arch Street Communications applauds NYSERDA's leadership in combining education with opportunity, creating an equitable foundation for all New Yorkers to plug into and benefit from the green economy."
More information about NYSERDA's workforce training and development initiatives can be found here.
To access additional information about NYCCEE, as well as a complete list of members, please click here .
New York State's Nation-Leading Climate Act
New York State's nation-leading climate agenda is the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy as New York State recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Enshrined into law through the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York is on a path to achieve its mandated goal of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy wide carbon neutrality. It builds on New York's unprecedented investments to ramp-up clean energy including over $33 billion in 102 large-scale renewable and transmission projects across the state, $6.8 billion to reduce buildings emissions, $1.8 billion to scale up solar, more than $1 billion for clean transportation initiatives, and over $1.6 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. Combined, these investments are supporting nearly 158,000 jobs in New York's clean energy sector in 2020, a 2,100 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011 and a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035. Under the Climate Act, New York will build on this progress and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, while ensuring that at least 35 percent with a goal of 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments are directed to disadvantaged communities, and advance progress towards the state's 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs of end-use energy savings.