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For the purposes of NYSERDA’s workforce development and training solicitations, the following terms apply: 

  • Apprenticeship” is defined as an employer-driven, occupational training model. Apprenticeship programs provide on-the-job training from an experienced mentor and related classroom instruction on the technical and academic aspects of a job. The training is rooted in industry skill standards and competencies and is typically registered by the New York State Department of Labor. Apprenticeship programs help companies successfully recruit, develop and retain a highly skilled workforce for the jobs they need filled.

  • Certification” refers to a voluntary system of standards usually set by key stakeholders and subject matter experts that practitioners can choose to meet in order to demonstrate accomplishment or ability in their profession.


  • Community-Based Organization” refers to a public or private organization aimed at making desired improvements to a community's social health, well-being, and overall functioning, and represents a community or significant segments of a community; and provides services to individuals in the community, based on input from community members.


  • Disadvantaged Communities” are communities that bear burdens of negative public-health effects, environmental pollution, impacts of climate change, and possess certain socioeconomic criteria, or comprise high concentrations of low- and moderate-income households. Members of Disadvantaged Communities include individuals from either of the following groups:
    • Individuals residing in locations that meet both of the following criteria:
      • Census block groups that are in the top quartile of HUD census tracks meeting the annual income threshold of 50% Area Median Income, and
      • Location identified as a Potential Environmental Justice AreaLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page., as defined by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation; or
    • Individuals residing in a New York State Opportunity ZoneLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page..

    View the interactive map that identifies areas throughout the state that meet the interim criteria for a disadvantaged community as defined by New York State


  • Hands-on experience,” also known as “experiential learning,” refers to knowledge or skills acquired through direct or personal interaction with subject matter experts, such as industry employees, coaches and mentors. Hands-on experience may be acquired through on-the-job training, classroom or online training, technical training, soft-skills training, or a combination thereof.


  • Internships” are paid, professional, structured learning experiences that offer meaningful practical work related to a student’s field of study or career interest. Internships allow students to obtain real-world experience in the workplace to prepare them for entry into the job market. Internships may include a combination of hands-on experience, on-the-job and/or technical training.


  • Job placement assistance” refers to services provided by Training Providers and recruiters to help individuals find work. Examples of job placement services include career coaching, resume writing, mock interviews, vocational counseling, and job or internship placement as a result of strategic partnerships with employers.


  • “On-the-Job Training (OJT)” is a form of training provided at the workplace during which trainees/employees are introduced to their work environment and acquire the skills they need to perform their work on the job. OJT may include the development of professional/”soft” skills such as communication, leadership, or team management or “hard” skills using machinery, equipment, tools, and other materials (“technical training”).


  • Pre-apprenticeship” is a program or set of services designed to prepare individuals to enter and succeed in an apprenticeship program. By definition, a pre-apprenticeship program has a documented partnership with at least one apprenticeship program. Quality pre-apprenticeship programs are a starting point toward a successful career path for under-represented job seekers (such as disadvantaged women and men, individuals with disabilities, and others) who may not be aware of this approach to obtain good jobs with opportunities for advancement. Pre-apprenticeships help individuals meet the entry requirements for apprenticeship programs and ensure they are prepared to be successful in their apprenticeship.


  • Priority populations” include:
    • Veterans;
    • Individuals with disabilities;
    • Low-income individuals, whose household’s total income is below or at 60% of the State Medium Income, or whose household has been determined eligible for or is receiving assistance through the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or other human service benefit programs;
    • Incumbent or unemployed fossil fuel workers;
    • Previously incarcerated individuals;
    • 16- to 24-year-olds who are enrolled in or have completed a comprehensive work preparedness training program such as those offered by Boards of Cooperative Education Services (BOCES), technical high schools, Conservation Corps, YouthBuild, and AmeriCorps. The training program must include a combination of rigorous clean energy education with hands-on technical training. Eligibility of work preparedness programs under this category will be considered on a case-by-case basis.;
    • Homeless individuals;
    • Single parents.

  • Technical training” refers to the delivery of competency-based, hard-skilled training courses to meet critical energy efficiency and clean technology industry needs.


  • Training providers” include technical high schools, community colleges, universities, trade associations, manufacturers, vendors, suppliers, distributors, unions, training and job placement intermediaries, community-based organizations and non-for-profit organizations with a demonstrated track record in energy-related training, job preparedness and/or placement.


  • Workers” include those individuals who design, manufacture, specify, sell, distribute, install, operate, maintain, repair, and inspect energy efficiency and clean technologies and systems.