New York Commits $15 Million To Clean Energy Workforce Development

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, D-N.Y., has announced $15 million in support of two initiatives that will promote clean energy workforce development and training programs on State University of New York (SUNY) campuses.

Nearly $6 million was awarded to SUNY campuses to train more workers in the clean energy sector. In addition, a request for proposals (RFP) was made available to all SUNY campuses for grants totaling $9 million to provide apprenticeships, internships, and educational programs and support through industry partnerships across the state. These initiatives are part of Climate Jobs NY, a component of the Clean Climate Careers initiative.

“As the federal government moves further away from responsible energy policy and clean energy production, New York is committed to fighting climate change and protecting our environment,” Cuomo says. “We will continue to take bold action to promote clean energy across the state and support job growth in cutting-edge renewable industries.”

Campus proposals awarded today were reviewed by a committee with representation from SUNY, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), and the Department of Labor. Of the awarded proposals, SUNY Canton, for example, will enhance its Solar Ready Vets program on-site at Fort Drum. Its training provides a micro-credential program in renewable energy specifically for veterans transitioning to civilian life. In addition, Erie Community College will enhance its non-credit continuing education units for architects and engineers, as well as building and code inspectors, by including electrical/photovoltaic solar updates for curricula design.

As part of the $9 million RFP for additional grants, the SUNY system will explore opportunities for partnerships with state and local agencies, including the Department of Labor, NYSERDA, Empire State Development and Industrial Development Agencies. These partnerships will aim to meet workforce needs of New York’s clean energy industry, drive regional economic development and provide hands-on learning to students.

Up to $1 million of the RFP is allocated specifically for Community College Regional Council awards to develop events and workshops that will facilitate partnerships between clean energy industry players and SUNY community colleges in the region; share best practices amongst community colleges on curricula materials and tools to accelerate the pace of clean energy workforce development; and plan regional strategies to promote a culture of environmental sustainability.

Alicia Barton, president and CEO of NYSERDA, says, “As New York continues to lead the nation in its commitment to renewable energy and its fight against climate change, we need to work collaboratively with colleges and universities, as well as the business community, to best prepare students and workers for growing job opportunities in the clean energy sector.”

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