Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y., and U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John Fernandez have announced $1.95 million in federal Jobs & Innovation Accelerator Challenge grants to establish a new renewable energy initiative in Newburgh, N.Y.
The effort, known as the New York Renewable Energy Cluster (NYREC), will provide grants that will allow The Solar Energy Consortium (TSEC) to expand its clean energy manufacturing cluster into Orange County through a partnership with Orange County Community College (SUNY Orange) and Gateway to Entrepreneurial Tomorrows (GET).
The $2 million in grants include the following:
- $800,000 to TSEC by the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration (EDA). This funding will be used to establish cluster development mechanisms intended to become permanent features of NYREC's long-term development strategy. Activities will focus on business support services to start-ups, including market research, site analysis and access to capital.
- $1 million to SUNY Orange by the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration. This funding will be used to increase course offerings at participating schools and tailor them more precisely to renewable energy cluster needs, thereby enhancing their value as job-generating training. These courses will continue to be offered and expanded through tuition payments and Department of Labor funding.
- $150,000 to Gateway to Entrepreneurial Tomorrows (GET) by the Small Business Administration to specifically target underserved and disadvantaged residents in Newburgh. Client referrals will be made to renewable energy industry experts who can vet business ideas for feasibility. Clients at appropriate stages of business development will be connected with venture-capital groups and alternative financing entities, and receive assistance with applications for state and federal research and development funding, including federal Small Business Innovation Research.