Late last week, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a bold new effort called the Clean Climate Careers initiative. The initiative is “a multi-pronged strategy to grow New York’s energy economy and prepare the workforce for the long-term careers associated with this industry.” The initiative, which partners with the ILR School’s Worker Institute at Cornell University and Climate Jobs NY, focuses on accelerating energy efficiency and renewable energy growth. The goal is to make New York a destination for new energy projects and technologies, creating 40,000 new energy jobs by 2020.
In the first phase of the Clean Climate Careers initiative, New York will make a sizable investment (up to $1.5 billion) in major renewable energy projects, including wind and solar, and “significantly expand energy efficiency and solar installations at public buildings.” The investment is said to provide an additional 2.5 million megawatt-hours of electricity per year, which would amount to the largestrenewable energy procurement by any state in U.S. history.
James Slevin, president, UWUA Local 1-2, strongly supports the initiative. “As a union leader who represents thousands of workers currently employed in New York’s energy system and whose livelihoods depend on those jobs, I am very concerned about protecting their jobs and addressing climate change which affects my members, their families and their communities. This initiative represents the best hope for protecting my members, ensuring new energy jobs are good union jobs, and addressing climate change.”
The Clean Climate Careers initiative is a bold, three-pronged strategy that connects investment in new energy technologies with the industry’s good-paying, quality jobs.