New York State is a leader in promoting environmental and climate justice, to ensure an equitable clean energy transition for all communities — but especially those disproportionately burdened by environmental health hazards — and position them to chart the clean energy future that meets their communities’ needs. A key element of climate justice is ensuring the green jobs of the future are available to all New Yorkers. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has been directed to invest more than $100 million through 2025 to train workers for good-paying jobs created across the state in the clean energy economy, and NYSERDA has prioritized these workforce training investments to serve historically disadvantaged communities and priority populations, including individuals that are low income, veterans, disabled, formerly incarcerated, and residents of environmental justice communities.
For the purposes of this solicitation, NYSERDA is seeking applications to fund and provide professional development training/mentoring for year-long, full-time fellowships, for individuals currently residing in disadvantaged communities or from priority populations, to work within organizations and businesses that advance climate justice and clean energy priorities for disadvantaged communities. It is anticipated that fellows from priority populations and disadvantaged communities will work with community-based organizations, universities, municipalities, climate tech innovators/start-ups, venture development organizations and clean energy businesses. It is expected that Fellows will assist with community engagement activities (e.g., plan, policy, or project), clean energy project development and implementation, facilitate partnership building, support clean energy start-ups, or engage in other projects related to advancing climate justice and clean energy priorities in disadvantaged communities.
NYSERDA anticipates funding approximately 50 fellowships in 2021 and up to 100 fellowships over the next two years, and will work with State and federal agencies, non-profits, foundations, and other partners to leverage existing resources, wrap-round services, training, and professional development opportunities. Based on available funding and the number of viable applications received by October 28, 2021, NYSERDA anticipates funding 50 fellows in 2021 and reserves the right to fund additional fellows to start in early 2022 should demand exceed funding available for fellows that will start in 2021.
For eligible host employers, the total award amount is capped at $40k per Fellow, which includes a $37k mandatory minimum annual (12-month) salary for the Fellow; and $3k for training/professional development and/or wrap-around services for the Fellow during the 12-month period. Upon NYSERDA review and approval, any remaining eligible funds (up to the maximum of $40k per Fellow) may be paid to the Fellow as a bonus upon successful completion of the 12-month employment period. Host employers are required to provide the Fellow with comprehensive employee health benefits as cost share.
Host employers must apply to the program with a fellow candidate identified. Employers must provide an outline of specific activities the fellow will undertake over the 12-month period. Based on the evaluation criteria, NYSERDA will select employers and their Fellows to participate in the program. The projected timeline for applications is as follows: Fall 2021 Cohort 1; Winter/Spring 2022 Cohort 2; Winter/Spring 2023 Cohort 3.
Applications that meet solicitation requirements will be reviewed and evaluated on a rolling and first-come first-served basis by a Scoring Committee consisting of NYSERDA staff and selected outside reviewers. A threshold will be set at NYSERDA’s discretion. Final rankings and contract awards will be based on the Evaluation Criteria detailed in the solicitation. It is anticipated that all award decisions for this round will be made by November 30, 2021.