New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has announced a new $45 million Apprenticeship and Pre-Apprenticeship Clean Energy Training Initiative. This initiative will expand the capacity of labor organizations to offer training as a pathway to clean energy careers. Through this initiative, $15 million is now available to support projects that develop a diverse and inclusive pipeline of skilled talent to meet projected workforce needs in a variety of clean energy sectors while increasing access to high-quality jobs with family-sustaining wages. This initiative advances a just transition to a clean energy workforce and the State’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act) goal to ensure at least 35% with a goal of 40% of clean energy investments are directed to disadvantaged communities.
“New York State is home to strong labor organizations with the expertise to train the workforce needed to support the clean energy transition,” Governor Hochul said. “This new initiative will ensure all New Yorkers who are interested in a career in the diverse green economy can gain the knowledge and skills necessary to enter and succeed in these growing sectors.”
Administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), this three-year competitive funding opportunity was developed through a request for information with critical input from labor and other stakeholders received through that process.
“NYSERDA is pleased to support training and real-world experience in partnership with labor groups that are helping prepare New Yorkers to enter the thriving clean energy workforce,” said NYSERDA president and CEO Doreen M. Harris. “With a pipeline of renewable energy and building electrification projects moving towards operation and many more to come as we scale up to achieve the State’s Climate Act goals, it’s critically important to develop the talent needed in all areas of the industry and continue to foster the record job growth we’ve already seen during our transition to a clean energy economy.”
As part of this solicitation, proposed projects must address projected workforce needs and prepare pre-apprentices, apprentices and journey workers for employment in at least one of the following clean energy technology areas: building electrification and energy efficiency technologies; renewable energy generation, interconnection, transmission, distribution and storage; and electric vehicle charging station installation and repair.
Eligible training initiatives include:
- clean energy technical training for pre-apprentices, apprentices, and/or journey workers;
curriculum development and expansion;
- train-the-trainer programs;
- equipment purchases for hands-on training, virtual reality training, and mobile labs;
wrap-around services such as childcare and transportation to ensure an individual is positioned for success in a clean energy career; and
- K-12 career awareness and outreach activities.
NYSERDA will accept applications requesting up to $750,000 per project commensurate with the scale of training proposed with an additional $150,000 available for projects that include K-12 career awareness and outreach promoting clean energy jobs as part of a training initiative for a total of $900,000. For projects that do include a K-12 education and awareness component, at least 50% of participating schools or afterschool/summer programs must be located in a disadvantaged community or serve a majority of students from these communities. Cost share is not required but encouraged, with proposals that include other funding sources or in-kind services receiving additional points during evaluation, as well as higher consideration given for projects that exclusively train individuals from disadvantaged communities or priority populations.
New York State labor organizations, labor management committees and training centers affiliated with New York State labor organizations, and active New York State Department of Labor Registered Apprenticeship Programs and Direct Entry Pre-Apprenticeship Programs affiliated with New York State labor organizations are eligible to apply. Applicants may partner with other training entities such as community colleges and universities; veterans programs associated with New York State labor organizations and apprenticeships; technical schools, community-based and not-for-profit organizations; trade associations; manufacturers; and equipment suppliers.
Round 1 applications are due at 3:00 p.m. on February 7, 2024, with additional submission opportunities and deadlines throughout the year as outlined in the solicitation. Any unallocated funds from this initial offering will be made available in subsequent rounds over the next two years.
This announcement builds on NYSERDA’s commitment of more than $170 million for workforce development and training initiatives, which prioritizes targeting and benefiting priority populations such as low-income, disabled and previously incarcerated individuals, veterans, disadvantaged communities and unemployed fossil fuel workers. This portfolio of talent pipeline programs includes Energy Efficiency & Clean Technology Training, Offshore Wind Training and On-the-Job Training supporting the ramp-up of clean energy businesses and hiring of skilled talent. NYSERDA recently launched an “Energizing Your Future” portal that includes information to help visitors to the site determine which clean energy sector is appealing to them and provides an overview of career paths with a list of popular jobs in that sector.
Funding for this initiative is through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).
News item from NYSERDA