Kennedy ‘Green’ Jobs Bill Passes Legislature, Will Help New York Capitalize on Clean Energy Economy

Jobs Legislation Moves to Governor’s Desk for Signature

ALBANY, N.Y. – Sen. Timothy M. Kennedy (D-58th District) announced today that legislation he sponsored to create jobs by developing a workforce for the state’s emerging “green” economy has passed both houses of the Legislature and is now headed to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s desk for his signature.

With the state and Western New York’s unemployment rate at 8-percent, New Yorkers are demanding more employment opportunities. Senator Kennedy’s legislation (S.5355) establishes the Green Jobs Workforce Subcommittee within the state Workforce Investment Board. The subcommittee will coordinate the state’s efforts to benefit from green industries by attracting viable businesses to encourage economic growth through the training of a workforce to compete in the 21st Century global economy.

By preparing the workforce for green jobs, our state will be far more effective in attracting clean-technology industries to capitalize on our abundant natural resources. The Green Jobs Workforce Subcommittee will conduct market data analysis to help guide the development of strategies to foster the growth of green industries in New York. The subcommittee will also help workers evolve with the changing economy through the development of new job-training and education programs. The high-tech training programs will specifically target workers affected by declining industries, such as Western New York’s steel industry.

Senator Kennedy’s bill also establishes a local green jobs corps to provide a tangible, on-the-ground effort to help grow the economy. The green jobs corps will bring together a diverse set of people – community members, local government, business leaders, environmental groups, education and labor – to work as a task force to develop green careers in local communities. The local corps will keep the pulse of what their region needs to grow green jobs.

“An economy is only as strong as its workforce. As New York’s economy changes and evolves, we need to ensure our workforce is fully prepared and empowered to excel in cutting-edge technologies and emerging industries,” Senator Kennedy said. “By developing a workforce for the latest in green energy, our state will be fully ready to capitalize on new opportunities for economic growth. New York became a leader in clean energy production when we harnessed the power of Niagara Falls so many years ago. This legislation will help New York live up to our legacy of innovation, attract new industry and spur job creation.”