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North Country schools get funding for clean energy education

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WATERTOWN — The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority has awarded $200,000 to prepare students at four north country schools for college or careers in energy-efficiency, renewable-energy and advanced-technology clean-energy training programs.

The NYSERDA grants will provide training to students at Copenhagen, LaFargeville, Belleville Henderson and Lyme central schools.

“These training programs will give young New Yorkers a path to exciting employment opportunities here in our state,” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said in a news release. “This program will continue to make New York a national leader in the clean-energy and technology industries.”

The funding is part of a $1.1 million grant for five clean-energy training programs that will help prepare high school students for post-secondary education and careers in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and advanced technology. The funds are in line with the vision to scale up clean energy and foster a clean-energy workforce by supporting science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) training.

The grant money will provide training for about 100 north country students for development and implementation of college-credit online courses in collaboration with Jefferson Community College and SUNY Canton.

Lyme Central School Superintendent Karen M. Donahue said the program will encourage students to see what sort of career choices are out there.

“There are a lot of industries looking to become more energy efficient,” Mrs. Donahue said. “One of the big things will be career exploration for our students, to see what sort of new jobs and careers will be out there when they graduate.”

The sustainable-energy online course will be piloted at Copenhagen Central School District. Mrs. Donahue said the online courses will be implemented at the other three districts as well. The funding will help provide staff development workshops for middle and high school teachers, Cornell Cooperative Extension educators and volunteers. Students will also have the opportunity to work one-on-one with people in the energy-conservation field by job shadowing, mentoring and internship opportunities for students. Mrs. Donahue said students will be able to attend a one-day community energy symposium.

The STEM-based training includes career- and technical-education experiences, early-college high school programs and career-exploration programs in energy efficiency, renewable energy and advanced technology.

For more information on NYSERDA’s workforce development and training programs, visit http://wdt.me/XYoUVR.

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