Looking for a career? Long Island Power Authority might have it for you — and the utility is putting money behind it through a new scholarship program with Nassau and Suffolk County community colleges.
The LIPA scholarship is designed to provide education and training for students from households with incomes below Long Island’s median, which is about $100,000 for a family of four.
The scholarship represents a $350,000 commitment over the next five years. It will provide 50 full scholarships for students to attend one of the community colleges and earn an associate’s degree or certificate that’ll help them pursue a career in the electric utility or clean energy sectors.
“Electricity is the clean fuel of the future,” said Thomas Falcone, LIPA’s chief executive, in a release.
In fact, Falcone points to various studies he says predicts electricity will provide more than 70 percent of New York’s energy needs by 2050 — and be entirely carbon-free.
The 50 scholarships LIPA will offer over the next five years are intended to ensure there will be an adequate, homegrown workforce to support it, the utility leader added.
Falcone was joined in the announcement by Maria Conzatti, interim president of Nassau Community College, and Edward Bonahue, president of Suffolk County Community College.
“The Long Island Power Authority’s generous scholarships will help us recruit and sustain students entering the STEM fields,” Bonahue said, “transforming our workforce and our region’s economy.”
The curriculum offered at both schools are expected to include courses relevant to the work LIPA does now — and is expected to do — to meet the clean energy goals set by New York’s Climate Act.
Signed in 2019, the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act requires New York to reduce greenhouse emissions 40 percent by 2030, and no less than 85 percent by 2050 from 1990 levels. The law is designed to help guide New York toward carbon neutrality — achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.
Also, the courses are expected to showcase LIPA’s mission of providing clean, reliable and affordable energy to not only Long Island, but also the Rockaways.
Graduates using LIPA scholarship funds are expected to get a competitive edge when it comes time to apply for jobs at the Long Island Power Authority, along with PSE&G Long Island, which plans to hire hundreds of entry-level workers over the next five years.
The five-year program will provide annual funding for 10 full-time, two-year scholarships.
Scholarship recipients will come from low- to moderate-income students who reside in disadvantaged communities — identified by New York’s Climate Justice Working Group — planning to attend either Nassau Community College or Suffolk County Community College.
The first recipients are expected to be announced early next year. To learn more, visit LIPower.org.