$1.5M To Create Albany Workforce Development Center To Ensure South End Albany Residents Are Connected To New Clean Energy Jobs And Workforce Training

March 16, 2022

By Ramona du Houx

On March 15, 2022, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer announced $1.5 million to create an Albany South End Workforce Training Center. The funding will be provided through the bipartisan omnibus spending package for Fiscal Year 2022 and will prepare the local workforce for hundreds of new clean energy jobs at the Port of Albany and other in-demand job sectors. Sen. Schumer explained that the project would be especially vital to achieving equity in the city, as it would connect the historically underserved South End with workforce training to take advantage of new clean energy job opportunities, removing employment barriers through support programs in childcare, education, and career assistance. 

“The Port of Albany South End Workforce Training Center will support one of the most significant job-creating, renewable-energy economic development projects in the Capital Region’s history and ensure that these jobs stay local and go to the communities that need them most. I am proud to deliver this historic investment for Albany’s South End to give the next generation of workers the skills to succeed in hundreds of good-paying jobs building offshore wind towers,” said Senator Schumer. “This project will not only set Albany residents up for a good-paying job, but also for high-quality careers that will help sustain the community and boost the local economy.”

Albany’s South End has historically been one of the most economically challenged communities in the Capital Region, experiencing the lowest employment rate across Albany’s neighborhoods prior to the pandemic. The South End also represents one of Albany’s largest communities of color with Black residents making up nearly 73 percent of the South End population. In addition, with many companies interested in expanding in the Port of Albany, one of the largest barriers to further economic development is access to a large, skilled workforce to enable a company to quickly hire enough qualified talent to begin operations.

“This earmark will help build the link between the offshore wind manufacturing planned at the Port of Albany and creating job opportunities in the south end of Albany and across all communities. The Port of Albany is proud to work with the City of Albany and local and regional workforce development leaders to create a prepared and connected workforce for the offshore wind industry and its supply chain. This funding will go toward creating a new workforce development center with partners in economic and workforce development. Thank you again to Senator Schumer for his relentless support of this endeavor for the industry, the community and New York State,” said Rich Hendrick, CEO Port of Albany.

The South End Albany Workforce Training Center would address these local needs by connecting jobs and training opportunities in emerging industries like offshore wind and beyond to establish a robust workforce pipeline that will attract and help scale companies in the Capital Region. The Workforce Center will be specifically designed to help prepare individuals in high school and 18 years or older by reducing barriers that too often hold back students and workers from enrolling and completing post-secondary education, such as transportation, childcare, academic readiness, and affordability of education. The training programs will be developed with local and regional workforce development partners, industry leaders, and higher education institutions to give local residents the skills they need to enter in-demand career fields, including offshore wind turbine assembly and manufacturing.

This funding builds on the $29.5 million Senator Schumer delivered last year for the Port of Albany Offshore Wind Tower Manufacturing Project through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) Port Infrastructure Development Grant program.

“New York is a demonstrated leader in advancing innovative policies that will create a more equitable clean energy economy. However, our communities are still vulnerable to the impacts of the climate crisis. Communities of color and low-income have contributed the least to environmental pollution and the climate crisis, yet they suffer the most,” said William Reinhardt, Albany County Legislator, EOPA New York Leadership Council. “We are making progress, $29.5 million was awarded to the Port of Albany for its Offshore Wind Tower Manufacturing Project will be one of the first large-scale offshore wind tower manufacturing facilities in the U.S. and is expected to create about 500 construction jobs and 550 manufacturing and support jobs. This is the kind of ongoing support the state needs from the federal government to see substantive change. We must cut pollution in half by 2030, establish millions of good paying clean energy jobs, and support climate adaptation efforts in our communities.”

Senator Schumer has a long history fighting to help revitalize the Port of Albany. In 2016, Schumer secured $17.6 million for the Port of Albany through the USDOT Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant. This funding supported a complete overhaul of the Port of Albany, including reconstructing the entire outdoor maritime terminal, building a new warehouse, expanding the wharf, and significantly improving the port’s roadways.  Sen. Schumer then visited the Port of Albany in 2019 to see the progress and continue his commitment to the Port of Albany’s economic expansion.