Expanding Opportunities: Governor Hochul's $45 Million Clean Energy Training

In an exciting development for New York State's clean energy sector, Governor Kathy Hochul has just unveiled a groundbreaking $45 million initiative aimed at bolstering apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs. This forward-thinking endeavor will greatly enhance the ability of labor organizations to provide training, thus opening new pathways to rewarding careers in the clean energy industry.

With a commitment of $15 million to support projects that cultivate a diverse and inclusive workforce, this initiative is poised to meet the growing demand for skilled talent while ensuring access to high-quality jobs with family-sustaining wages. It's a significant stride toward achieving the goals of a “Just Transition” set forth in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which seeks to allocate a substantial portion of clean energy investments to disadvantaged communities.

Apprentice Program Summary

According to the Governor’s announcement, the top line points regarding the apprenticeship program includes:

·       $15 Million Now Available to Support Development of Skilled Workforce to Meet Projected Needs of Clean Energy Sectors While Increasing Access to Family- Sustaining Jobs


·       Advances Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act Goal to Ensure at Least 35 Percent with a Goal of 40 Percent of Benefits of Clean Energy Investments Are Directed to Disadvantaged Communities

Apprentice Program Vision

Administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), this competitive funding opportunity is the result of collaboration with labor and other stakeholders. NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris noted, "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. 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."

Apprentice Program Objectives

The initiative invites proposals that address workforce needs in key clean energy technology areas, including building electrification and energy efficiency technologies, renewable energy generation, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and more. Eligible training initiatives encompass technical training, curriculum development, equipment purchases, and support services like childcare and transportation. Additionally, there's a strong focus on K-12 career awareness and outreach activities.

Applications For Funding

NYSERDA will accept applications for projects requesting up to $750,000, with an additional $150,000 available for initiatives that include K-12 career awareness and outreach. These opportunities will play a crucial role in reaching disadvantaged communities and promoting clean energy jobs. While cost-sharing is not mandatory, it is encouraged, and proposals involving other funding sources or in-kind services will receive additional consideration.

Who Can Apply

This initiative is open to New York State labor organizations, labor management committees, training centers, registered apprenticeship programs, and pre-apprenticeship programs affiliated with 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. 

Collaboration with various training entities, including community colleges, universities, veterans programs, technical schools, and not-for-profit organizations, is encouraged.

Application Deadline – February 7, 2024, at 3:00 PM

The first round of applications is due on February 7, 2024, at 3:00 p.m., with additional submission opportunities and deadlines throughout the year as outlined in the State’s solicitation. Any unallocated funds from this initial offering will be made available in subsequent rounds over the next two years.

This initiative is a testament to Governor Hochul's commitment to clean energy and workforce development. It 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. It also demonstrates how New York State is leading the way in building a skilled and diverse clean energy workforce while fostering economic growth and sustainability.

The Clean Energy Jobs Coalition applauds this new initiative and looks forward to the positive impact it will have on our communities and the clean energy sector.