Hundreds of Green Jobs to be Created Across Long Island Under Governor Paterson's Green Jobs Bill
Incentives Available for Workers, Businesses and Homeowners to Become Part of Region's Green Innovation Economy
Albany, NY (November 19, 2009) - The State Department of State and the State Department of Labor, in cooperation with the State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), today highlighted New York State’s plans to create green jobs and stimulate investment in weatherization and energy efficiency improvements for residential and commercial buildings on Long Island, and across the state, through the Green Jobs/Green New York Act. Governor David A. Paterson recently signed the act into law -- which targets the creation of thousands of jobs across Long Island -- to help prepare New Yorkers to secure jobs in the 21st century clean energy economy. State Officials also announced at an event in Hauppauge that more than $1 million from OTDA has been awarded to Nassau County and Suffolk County to launch new Green Jobs Corps programs, helping prepare workers for careers in this emerging field.
Secretary of State Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez said, “Governor Paterson understands that good environmental policy is good economic policy. The Green Energy Bill will create hundreds of good-paying jobs in Long Island and make New York a national leader in promoting a green economy.”
State Labor Commissioner M. Patricia Smith said, “Governor Paterson's Green Energy Bill will stimulate job creation and retention, support workforce development and advance pathways out of poverty. We all want this state to be a place that attracts and retains the best and the brightest talent, and the potential on all fronts with green is limitless.”
Kristin Proud, Deputy Secretary for Human Services, Technology and Operations, who is currently overseeing OTDA, said, “We share Governor Paterson’s commitment to helping New Yorkers thrive in this New Economy. And we are continuing to do all we can to help those who are struggling improve their chances of getting a job and developing skills that will allow them to advance in the workforce to higher-paying jobs. By preparing workers for careers in these green collar jobs, we are allowing them to better compete while getting them on a path toward self-sufficiency.”
Francis J. Murray, President and CEO of NYSERDA, said, “Expanding our workforce is a major focus in Governor Paterson’s ambitious energy agenda. The Green Jobs/Green New York Act will enable the State to offer vital job training in a field that continues to grow with the advances of, and demands for, new clean-energy technologies and services. The development of a strong, green workforce that will be trained to embrace the demand for energy efficiency and renewable energy services will benefit businesses and residents looking to reduce their energy costs throughout New York State.”
The Green Jobs Corps funding will allow the Nassau County and Suffolk County Departments of Social Services to provide job skills training and subsidized employment opportunities in “green industries” for public assistance recipients and low-income individuals. Participants in the Green Jobs Corps program will develop occupational skills that will enable them to get jobs in addition to supporting their ability to remain employed and advance in their careers.
To help connect job seekers with opportunities the State has launched a new web site to assist those seeking to enter the new green job sector. The site – www.greencareersny.com – is designed to make it easy for individuals, businesses and workforce professionals to find the State’s local training programs and green job opportunities.
“By giving home and business owners a means to overcome the burden of paying upfront for energy efficiency capital improvements, Green Jobs/Green NY will create thousands of jobs from Montauk to Massena by increasing the demand for making the improvements needed to conserve energy and save on monthly electric bills,” said Sen. Darrel J. Aubertine, chair of the Senate Energy Committee and sponsor of the Green Jobs/Green NY Act. “The Department of Labor plays a key role in this by providing the training necessary to help the small business contractors who will retrofit these homes find the skilled workforce they need.”
The Green Jobs/Green New York Act directs NYSERDA to establish revolving loan and green jobs training programs to retrofit homes to conserve energy. Loans will be capped at $13,000 for residential and $26,000 for commercial properties. The program will target middle-class homeowners and small businesses that will pay back the loan out of what they save on their energy bills. The job training component will focus on new entrants to the workforce and displaced workers. The job training component, which will be implemented primarily by community-based organizations selected through a competitive procurement process, will focus on new entrants to the workforce and displaced workers.
To fund the weatherization loan program and establish the statewide green jobs training program, NYSERDA will use a portion of $112 million from the auction of carbon emission credits through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).
The Green Jobs bill will allow the State to increase its existing and successful weatherization efforts that are already underway. The Weatherization Assistance Program will eventually administer $394 million in funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). By the end of this month, $190 million in 64 contracts, representing every county in New York, will be executed as part of the program. Under the program, a minimum of 45,000 residential units will be weatherized in New York State. In addition, this effort will expand on NYSERDA’s successful Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program.