Senate’s Green Initiatives Institute Will Target Federal Money for New “Green” Jobs
(Albany, NY) A plan to establish a “green” jobs development institute, put federal money to work creating tens of thousands of new infrastructure jobs and getting more than 1,300 new cops on the street are just some of the job creation efforts included in this year’s budget passed today.
In all, more than 86,000 new jobs statewide are expected through key Senate-led proposals, including:
As many as 8,600 new “green” jobs through the Green Initiatives Institute.
61,000 new transportation infrastructure updating and construction jobs.
1,400 new police officers as a result of federal stimulus money
4200 as a result of new funding for low-income New Yorkers eligible for works programs in the social services
3500 new jobs through public housing capital improvements
7900 new jobs through clean water and drinking water improvements
“Thousands of people have lost their job as a result of the national economic downturn, but these initiatives will help tens of thousands of them go back to work and help us turn this economy around,” said Senate Majority Leader Malcolm A. Smith. “Job growth is the Senate’s number one priority, because our ability to meet the needs of those we represent depends on a strong workforce and stable economy.”
“There is no doubt that difficult decisions had to be made across the board in this state budget,” said Senator Bill Stachowski (D-Lake View), Chair of the Senate Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business Committee. “It was certainly the most complicated budget I have seen in my tenure in the Senate. We went to great pains to preserve education funding, healthcare, hospitals and economic development. In the end, this budget will create jobs for Upstate communities. The long-term economic growth of New York State will particularly depend on our ability to support small businesses and create new and good paying jobs. As we continue to cope with the extraordinary circumstances of this national recession, job growth will continue to be my number one priority.”
As a way to ensure that federal stimulus money dedicated to energy efficiency and development ($561.2 million) is used to create as many jobs as possible, the Senate Majority established the new Green Initiatives Institute. The federal money will go through three programs: the Weatherization Assistance Program ($404 million), the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program ($31.2 million), and the State Energy Program ($139.2 million).
The Institute will turn years of talk into action by supporting sustainable community development projects through these programs that are expected to produce as many as 58,000 new “green” jobs across all industries in New York.
State Energy Program
Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant
Weatherization Assistance Program
“It is not just the number of jobs we are creating that I am proud of, it is where and how we are creating them that truly stands out. It’s visionary and will put into action what people have been talking about for years. We are committed to creating jobs for New Yorkers across the state. We are dedicated to creating green jobs that will both protect the environment and revitalize our economy,” said Senator Antoine Thompson (D-Parts of Erie & Niagara Counties).
Additionally, due to a renewed investment from the federal government totaling $2.5 billion through stimulus funds, much-needed infrastructure projects will go online, updating New York’s roads, sewer systems, highways, bridges and power lines, and other needs. In that funding, there’s $1.4 billion for mass transit and $1.1 billion dedicated for highways and bridges.
For every $1 million put into transit and ground passenger transportation, 31.6 jobs are created in all industries, including transportation, throughout the state.
This funding is broken down as follows:
· For highway funds: 30% to large urban areas (population of 200,000 and over), remainder through Metropolitan Planning Organization processes (MPOs);
· Half of all stimulus funding must be under contract within 120 days, with the rest under contract within one year;
· MPOs currently reviewing Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) projects to move initiatives quickly, a process that will include Senate input;
· Transit capital proposals expected from MTA and local authorities.
Along with 1,391 new police officers who will be hitting the streets, another 4,100 jobs will be created through a Senate program targeted at low-income New Yorkers within the fields of employment services, travel arrangement and reservation services, office administrative services, facilities support services, business support services, and services to buildings and dwellings. Across three programs (Health Care Outreach Jobs, Transitional Jobs Program, and Green Jobs Corps Program) $15 million was secured to help through Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) funds. Each of the three programs includes an 80 percent reimbursement on successfully created jobs.
This will be the first large-scale public employment program for New York in decades.
“Jobs serve as the engine for economic recovery, and we were mindful of this fact in placing needed priority on creating employment opportunities for New Yorkers, including those energy-related jobs that were funded as part of the federal stimulus package,” said Senator Carl Kruger (D-Brooklyn),Chair of the Senate Finance Committee.