The New York State Public Service Commission yesterday pledged $6.6 million in funding for workforce development related to energy efficiency programs under the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.
Workforce training is necessary to meet the state’s planned energy efficiency goals, Commission Chairman Garry Brown said. The one-year funding agreement will make it possible for the Energy Research and Development Authority to hold training for energy efficiency contractors and professionals. The money will also be used to develop curriculum for continuing education and certification standards.
The need for more funds is a good sign – a direct result of the expansion of current energy efficiency programs across New York. Part of the newly funded initiative includes programs targets entry-level employment in the energy efficiency field and individuals in economically and environmentally disadvantaged communities.
The Commission’s announcement notes certain obstacles to rapidly building a skilled workforce, such as the cost of training, time committed to training, wages for workers while being trained, training infrastructure, tools, and lack of prerequisite skills training. The new funding should eliminate or reduce these obstacles, it said.
The Commission has also recently approved a geothermal heat pump initiative and an electric reduction in master-metered multifamily buildings program under the Energy Research and Development Authority’s administration.