Underrepresented New Yorkers Graduate Clean Energy Construction Training Program

April 22, 2022

Underrepresented New Yorkers Graduate Clean Energy Construction Training Program 

Free Training Supported By State Expands Clean Energy Workforce and Helps New York Meet Ambitious Climate Change Goals 

New York, NY (April 22, 2022)- Building Skills New York (BSNY), a non-profit dedicated to helping historically underemployed New Yorkers gain the skills and certifications necessary to enter and advance in the construction industry, in partnership with LaGuardia Community College, part of the City University of New York (CUNY); and Positive Workforce, a New York City based minority construction advocacy organization, is proud to announce the graduation of its second cohort of participants in tuition-free training course for in-demand clean energy jobs. 

“We are thrilled to celebrate the graduation of our second cohort of HVAC trainees, especially on Earth Day,” said BSNY Executive Director, David Meade. “These students are right on track to fill in-demand clean energy jobs within the HVAC sector and greater construction industry. We are looking forward to connecting even more underserved New Yorkers with skills training that will put them on a path of meaningful employment.” 

The second cohort of the High Efficiency HVAC Careers Program is made possible through support from New York State Energy & Research Development Authority. Participants, 15 graduating on Earth Day, earned industry-recognized credentials including a Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning certification from the National Center for Construction Education and Research. As part of the program, individuals also receive job placement assistance including career counseling, retention services, and upskilling opportunities. So far, almost 90 percent of graduates have been placed in jobs. 

Doreen M. Harris, President and CEO, NYSERDA, said: “New and evolving high-efficiency technologies in heating and cooling – especially ground and air source heat pumps – will play a critical role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and achieving Governor Hochul’s goal of two million climate friendly homes by 2030. Training programs like this are essential to developing career pathways that will enable all New Yorkers to participate in New York’s exciting clean energy future.” 

The High Efficiency HVAC Careers Program’s curriculum focuses on specialized clean technology including air-source and ground-source heat pumps to better prepare participants for the ever-evolving building sustainability landscape and equips participants with the tools they need to succeed. 

“Through this partnership with Building Skills NY, we are equipping underemployed New Yorkers with the training and knowledge they need to succeed in the HVAC field. This training opportunity has proven especially helpful to those who lost their jobs with the onset of the pandemic,” said LaGuardia Community College President, Kenneth Adams. We are proud to celebrate this cohort’s graduation and thrilled that they are now qualified for jobs that pay family-sustaining wages.” 

Positive Workforce Executive Director Vinny Torres: “Programs like this one are essential in connecting underserved communities to high quality training and promoting diversity within the construction industry. The HVAC sector is rapidly expanding and requires a specific skillset. Once workers are equipped with the skills and tools they need to succeed in HVAC, they will be able to advance their careers and grow their wages.” 

The HVAC class is part of a broader, ongoing effort by BSNY to provide individuals with skills training in a wide range of construction and clean energy disciplines, recognizing that helping workers hone their expertise makes them more competitive and better able to succeed in the job market.