Governor Signs The Green Jobs/Green New York Bill
Gov. Paterson signed a bill to establish a program to create green jobs and stimulate investment in weatherization and energy efficiency improvements for residential and commercial buildings. The program is designed to create jobs, lower energy costs for households, not-for-profits and small businesses and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Press release is here.
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 seed money from the RGGI fund will be used to leverage private investment, which will move us toward a goal of retrofitting one million homes over the next five years.
The Green Jobs bill will allow the State to increase its existing and successful weatherization efforts that are already underway. The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) will eventually administer $394 million in funds under American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. By the end of October, $190 million in 64 contracts, representing every county in New York, will be executed as part of the WAP program.
Governor Funds Green Jobs Corps, but None in Erie County
Gov. Paterson also announced that $7 million from the State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) has been awarded to 11 counties and New York City to launch the new Green Jobs Corps programs. This funding will allow local 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.
Half of the money will go to NY City, and the remainder is divided among 11 counties, which do Not include Erie County, home to Buffalo, the third poorest city in the Nation. WHY NOT Buffalo?
Green Career Web Site Announced
To help connect job seekers with the opportunities being announced today, Paterson also announced the launch of a new web site to assist those seeking to enter the new green job sector. The site – 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.