Westchester, Sustainable Westchester Team Up To Launch Clean Energy Accelerator Program

Westchester, Sustainable Westchester Team Up To Launch Clean Energy Accelerator Program
Bridget Gibbons, Westchester County Director of Economic Development

WHITE PLAINS—The Westchester County Office of Economic Development announced on May 8 it had partnered with Sustainable Westchester to launch a Clean Energy Accelerator Program.

The program, which includes a Careers Working Group that recently met for the first time, convenes key stakeholders who will work together to identify the workforce needs of the clean energy sector and create strong clean energy career pathways for Westchester residents.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer said, “The clean energy industry is booming, with state, federal, and utility incentives, creating more career opportunities at every education level. And, clean energy projects are increasingly in disadvantaged communities, creating an opportunity to train a local workforce who historically and disproportionately have been harmed by environmental burdens. Expanding Westchester County’s capacity in this sector will have a tremendous benefit to both current and future employers, as well as our residents.”

Westchester County Director of Economic Development Bridget Gibbons added, “We understand that clean energy project implementation can be challenging due to workforce barriers, which range from lack of skilled talent to limited awareness among potential workers of opportunities within the industry. The climate career field is growing and there are opportunities for residents to both build new skills and pivot existing skills to a new industry.”

Among the CEA Working Group’s goals, are:

• Align resources to implement existing and develop new clean energy training programs;

• Provide local clean energy businesses access to a qualified workforce and increase their capacity to broaden their activities, including potentially hiring workers at a subsidized rate through the NYSERDA program;

• Create strong clean energy career pathways for Westchester residents;

• Support local businesses to broaden their services in correlation with the market demand for clean energy; and,

• Attract clean energy companies to Westchester and ensure workforce availability to accelerate the implementation of money-saving, pollution-reducing technology across the county.

Sustainable Westchester’s Interim Executive Director Jim Kuster said: “We are delighted to partner with Westchester County to scale career pathways in clean energy for residents. The heart of this work speaks to Sustainable Westchester’s mission and we welcome the opportunity to participate in an initiative that benefits the community, economy and environment.”

Sustainable Westchester’s Program Director Rachel Carpitella said, “As a non-profit in the clean energy sector we know firsthand the challenges surrounding recruitment, hiring, and retention. We see our solution provider partners seek to hire skilled workers and at the same time we are aware of community members across the county who desire a career. This program solves the missing links and will accelerate the just transition to a clean energy economy.”

The Westchester County Office of Economic Development works to improve the county’s economic well-being and quality of life. This includes a broad range of activities to attract, create and retain jobs, and to foster a resilient, pro-growth and inclusive economy.

Sustainable Westchester is a nonprofit consortium of Westchester County local municipalities that facilitates effective collaboration on sustainability initiatives. Sustainable Westchester’s goal is to bring socially responsible, environmentally sound, and economically viable solutions that create healthy, resilient, sustainable communities.

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