ALBANY, N.Y. – Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposals for New York include ambitious goals for developing renewable energy and training a workforce to help make it happen.
The governor’s annual State of the State Address emphasized the need to fight climate change and the importance of switching to clean, renewable energy. New York is committed to getting 70% of its electric power from renewables by 2030.
Joe Martens, director of the New York Offshore Wind Alliance, notes the governor’s proposals include a $170 million workforce development plan to train the workers needed to build and maintain clean-energy infrastructure.
“This is great news and it really is an example of looking ahead,” says Martens. “This is preparing for the future, and it’s going to mean keeping jobs in New York state.”
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The proposal would invest an additional $40 million over the next five years to help train 40,000 clean-energy workers.
Martens says the plan also includes finding partners for a $20 million Offshore Wind Training Institute on Long Island, where the offshore wind industry will soon need skilled workers.
“If we’re going to meet the aggressive schedule now we have in New York for developing offshore wind projects, we have to have a trained workforce in place,” says Martens.
The Offshore Wind Training Institute will begin training 2,500 New Yorkers in 2021.
Transportation is a leading source of greenhouse gas emissions in New York. Martens says the proposal includes a collaboration between public colleges, car dealers and automotive technicians to begin training in the operation and repair of electric vehicles.
“Transportation is critical, so training people and training technicians for this specialized workforce is just the right thing to do,” says Martens.
He adds the workforce development plan is both timely and necessary to meet the ambitious clean-energy goals the governor signed into law last year.