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DOL Honors Electrical Workers During National Apprenticeship Week

Nov. 15, 2019
The four-year apprenticeship program trains workers for jobs in New York State's clean energy economy.

The New York State Department of Labor today recognized 52 electric workers from the New York Power Authority and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) locals 2104 and 2032 for their participation in a statewide Apprentice Training Program. The clean energy jobs program, now running for two successful years, helps prepare trade and technical workers for jobs in the energy sector supporting Governor Cuomo’s Green New Deal, a nation-leading clean energy and jobs agenda that puts New York State on a path to carbon neutrality.

The DOL certified the NYPA/IBEW Apprentice Training Program in 2018 and regularly audits the program to ensure it meets the State’s apprentice program certification standards.

“As we move our state aggressively toward a carbon-neutral economy, we need qualified, trained professionals who understand their integral role in realizing Governor Cuomo’s vision for a cleaner and greener energy sector,” said Roberta Reardon, NYS Department of Labor Commissioner“This NYPA/IBEW registered apprenticeship program is training our current and future workforce and I am incredibly proud of each participant in this innovative apprenticeship program.”

The DOL apprenticeship program certification followed several years of coordinated efforts by NYPA management and its unionized labor force from the IBEW locals to bolster training and meet state certification criteria. The DOL certification covers training programs for mechanics, electricians, and operators at NYPA’s upstate facilities in Marcy, Massena, Niagara Falls and the Schoharie Valley represented by the IBEW.

“It takes a special commitment to build your career and to learn a specialized job like those in the energy sector,” says Anthony J. Picente, NYPA Trustee and Oneida County Executive.  “I’m proud of the men and women who are part of NYPA’s Apprentice Training Program. I applaud their commitment to the program and the efforts of those who worked to make the career dreams of these individuals a reality by working to establish these excellent training programs.”

“The development of NYPA’s Clean Energy Apprentice Training Program is a great success story for New York State, NYPA and the IBEW, but most importantly for the men and women who are giving their all to these apprenticeships each and every day,” says Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO. “The program reinforces the traditional role of unions as a springboard for career advancement and has been a tremendous benefit to NYPA, ensuring the steady supply of trained, qualified and motivated workers as we work to help realize Governor Cuomo’s vision of a carbon-neutral electric system by 2040.”

“We are proud of the collaborative effort put forward by the NYPA-IBEW Joint Labor Management Committee to accomplish such a monumental endeavor, says William Brown, Jr., business manager, IBEW Local 2023.  “The opportunities created by this program will work to strengthen NYPA’s 2030 vision for a reliable, more resilient energy system.”

Apprenticeships are the traditional career starting point for NYPA’s specialized energy craft workers. The DOL’s certification means that workers who complete one of the approved apprenticeship programs will be awarded a journeyperson card from the state, attesting to that individual’s qualifications and proficiency in their trade discipline.

To learn more about NYPA’s Apprentice Training Program, view the following stories on NYPA’s YouTube channel where NYPA apprentices share their experiences in one-minute interviews. About 52 NYPA employees are currently enrolled in the apprentice programs, which commence every September. The individuals are at different levels of completing their apprenticeships, depending on when they began the training.

Electrician Apprentice Brian Seeber 

Electrician Apprentice Chris Smutz 

Mechanic Apprentice Mark Zieman 

General Maintenance Apprentice Molly Hopper 

Electrician Apprentice Brock Murtagh 

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