Assemblywoman Russell: Assembly Extends Power for Jobs Program

Also passes legislation to create “green jobs green New York” program
June 17, 2009

Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell (D-Theresa) announced the Assembly passed legislation, multi-sponsored by Russell, to extend the Power for Jobs program through May 15, 2010. Power for Jobs provides low-cost energy to job-creating businesses and not-for-profit organizations across New York State (A.8825-A).

“The New York Power Authority recently demonstrated how valuable the allocation of low cost power could be to improving businesses bottom lines when they used proceeds from the selling of low cost power from Alcoa East’s idle plant do reduce energy rates for an estimated 7,000 local businesses,” Russell said. “This extender will further ensure that businesses participating in this program will continue to receive the benefits they need to protect and create more jobs.”

This legislation contains numerous oversight and transparency measures to ensure businesses participating in the program are providing and creating the jobs promised, ensuring the States tax dollars are being protected. These provisions include:

  • requiring the Power Authority to provide reports by Sep. 30, 2009, detailing information necessary to assess the existing program and the resources available for the future, along with a review of all program participants;
  • requiring all beneficiaries to undergo an energy audit and assessment of distributed generation capabilities by the New York Power Authority;
  • providing expedited renewal of benefits provided under these programs.

“With the numerous power-generating facilities in the North Country, it is only right that we benefit from the power created here,” Assemblywoman Russell said. “The Power for Jobs program that is a valuable and effective program and it has the potential to improve our economy by helping businesses thrive.”

Green Jobs, Green New York

In addition, the Assembly passed legislation, multi-sponsored by Russell, authorizing the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to create and administer a “green jobs, green homes” program that provides federal grants and private investment to communities, small businesses, and not-for-profits to be retrofitted with energy efficient, green technologies (A.8901).

“The North Country is already ahead of the curve when it comes to the production of alternative energy technologies,” Assemblywoman Russell said. “It is time to take it one step further and start putting these technologies to work in our communities, for our not-for-profits, and for our small businesses, saving money on monthly energy costs and improving our environment.”

“The increased usage of these technologies will lead to an increased need for production,” Russell said. “The research and development being done at Clarkson, SUNY Potsdam, SUNY Clarkson, St. Lawrence University and Jefferson Community College will draw manufacturers looking to put these technologies into production.”

Specific communities will be selected through a program opportunity notice or other forms of competitive solicitation. Applicants will include local community groups in collaboration with contractors and local utilities, and labor and training organizations. An emphasis will be placed on women-owned businesses as well as those located in economically distressed communities.