NYPA Press Release

NYPA Offers STEM Education, Clean Energy Workplace Skills Through New P-TECH Collaboration With High Schools, Colleges

For Immediate Release: 2/23/2021

Contact: Lynne Smith | (914) 346-4656 | Lynne.Smith@nypa.gov

Internships, STEM Education Support to Benefit Energy-Interested Students in Buffalo, Utica, and Queens

Serving as Industry Partner Affirms NYPA’s Commitment to Workforce Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Supports Statewide Commitment to Build Pipeline of Skilled Workers for Clean Energy Jobs


The New York Power Authority (NYPA) announced today it has joined a collaboration with the nationally respected Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools program, known as P-TECH, to offer high school students workplace skills, training and the educational credentials they need to land competitive jobs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. NYPA will serve as a business partner in the public-private partnership that helps high school students who are interested in STEM careers obtain both a high school diploma and a two-year associate’s degree from a nearby college. A key component of its industry leading, organization-wide Diversity, Equity and Inclusion plan, NYPA’s involvement affirms the commitment, announced in its VISION2030 strategy to encourage, create, and maintain a diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce. The announcement also complements Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s proposal in his 2021 State of the State address to expand New York’s $175 million workforce development initiative to meet emerging clean energy job demands.


NYPA is well positioned to offer its energy and engineering expertise to help inspire our future leaders in energy, technology and science,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA President and CEO. Through our involvement in the P-TECH program, we will mentor students, host site visits and support internships. This program will help us provide a pipeline of diverse utility and clean energy workers that are skilled and career ready. As we set our sights on achieving Governor Cuomo’s climate leadership goals, our commitment to STEM education is vital. By enhancing student awareness of technology and innovation, we will inspire, and train the next generation of clean energy leaders.”


SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras said, “SUNY is proud to be a partner in the New York State P-TECH network, where K-12 schools, BOCES, colleges and universities, and industry leaders like NYPA collaborate to help students graduate from high school and college prepared for high-demand jobs in regional and global industries. Our students in P-TECH programs at Erie Community College and Mohawk Valley Community College will have unparalleled opportunities to study and train with NYPA to develop technical skills and competencies that will put them first-in-line for jobs and career opportunities in hydropower, natural gas, transmission development, and more. I thank the leadership teams at Erie Community College and Mohawk Valley Community College for providing their students with pathways to careers through this partnership—P-TECH’s education model is exactly what is needed to drive economic recovery and growth post COVID-19.”

CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez said, “CUNY is pleased to collaborate once again with NYPA and P-TECH to serve our students and provide valuable workforce preparation for 21st century careers in STEM. The University’s history of creating innovative pathways for New Yorkers of all ages makes CUNY ideally suited to help diverse and talented students take advantage of this rich collaboration, which can put them on a road to success in college and beyond.” 

P-TECH’s integrated curriculum brings together an industry partner, in this case NYPA, with a high school and local community college to educate students and ensure they have the skills required to enter the workforce after graduation. NYPA hopes the partnership will be a first step in forming a statewide P-TECH coalition that involves its customers including local governments, its economic development business partners, vendors, contractors, and other clean energy companies the Authority works with to expand career opportunities for students across the state.


NYPA will offer mentorships and internships to students, provide curriculum support and site visits, participate on the schools’ steering committees, and find ways to involve students at its facilities. It is anticipated that 15 internships will be offered during the summer of 2021 with the number growing to 100 over five years.


WNY, Mohawk Valley, and NYC Programs Train Students for Clean Energy Jobs

NYPA is finalizing agreements with three high schools in the Mohawk Valley, Western New York and New York City. Working with a local college, the school and industry partner collaborate on all aspects of the program. At present, the P-TECH program staff are focusing on:

  • Western New York - Partnering with Be Solar P-TECH and Erie Community College (SUNY) to bring programs to the Buffalo/Niagara area. Be Solar’s areas of interest include computers and electronics.
  • Mohawk Valley - Partnering with Oneida-Herkimer-Madison Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) P-TECH and Mohawk Valley Community College (SUNY) to bring energy-related academic tracks to the Utica area. OHM BOCES P-TECH areas of interest include electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and cyber security.
  • Queens/New York City - Partnering with Energy Tech High School and LaGuardia Community College (CUNY) in Long Island City, Queens, to enhance students’ exploration of the energy technology field. Energy Tech’s areas of interest include electrical and mechanical engineering.

 The initiative is part of NYPA’s Environmental Justice STEM program, which provides educational resources to students from underrepresented communities in close proximity to NYPA’s statewide power generation and transmission assets.


“Young people are the leaders of tomorrow,” said Lisa Payne Wansley, NYPA’s Vice President of Environmental Justice. “Through this P-TECH and NYPA collaboration, we will give young people of color and from underserved communities an opportunity to become involved in, and indeed to lead, our transformation to a clean energy economy here in New York State.”


First launched by IBM in 2011, the P-TECH public education model has been adopted in 240 schools across 28 countries with more than 150,000 students and 600 corporate partners.

The program combines rigorous coursework with workplace experiences that include industry mentoring, worksite visits and paid internships. The primary goal of P-TECH is to provide a high-quality STEM education and career preparation for all students. There is open enrollment and no cost to students and their families. Program partners support the students all the way through to the successful completion of an associate’s degree – and studies show that P-TECH students finish their associate’s within two years at four times the rate of their peers. Many students continue on to pursue a four-year degree.


Justina Nixon-Saintil, VP and Global Head, IBM Corporate Social Responsibility, said, "The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in record high unemployment and has further widened the skills gap. Working together with P-TECH industry partners like NYPA is important because it provides students with early workplace learning exposure like internships to help grow a new generation of leaders who really understand environmental challenges and pursue careers in sustainability."


Ginni Rometty, former Chairman and CEO of IBM and co-Chair of OneTen, said, “As a longtime advocate for bringing training and skilling opportunities to high school students to prepare them for contemporary jobs and careers, and giving them the tools and resources they need to enter the workforce, I believe this partnership is a meaningful step to create greater opportunities for students across New York. The NYPA has extensive engineering and technology expertise that will be extremely valuable to the P-TECH program, and I hope more businesses will join them in this important effort.”

P-TECH OHM Principal Erica Schoff said, “We are excited for this unique opportunity to partner with the nation’s largest state public power organization, NYPA. Business and industry partners play such a vital role in the P-TECH education model by providing authentic and meaningful experiences in fields that students have an interest in. We know that the new insights and knowledge provided through this partnership will open up an even wider array of education and career possibilities to students in our program.”

Christopher Hill, OHM BOCES Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Services, said, “This partnership with NYPA is a major asset to not only our P-TECH OHM students but the Mohawk Valley region as a whole. We are always looking for new and innovative ways to educate students for the critical roles in our region’s workforce. Through this collaboration with NYPA, we will be able to prepare our local students for careers in this in-demand field and also help build a skilled and educated workforce for our region’s future.”

Dr. Randall VanWagoner, President, Mohawk Valley Community College, said, “P-TECH is a proven model for student success and serves as a catalyst to maximize partnerships. MVCC looks forward to our continued collaborations with OHM-BOCES and NYPA to make a meaningful difference in the lives and futures of our students to thrive here in this region.”

Hope Barter, Founding Principal, Energy Tech High School said, “Industry partners contribute invaluable insight into the skills needed for emerging jobs, and through the P-TECH model equip our schools with the tools we need to prepare students authentically for the demands of college and the workforce. We are excited for NYPA to join our founding partners at Energy Tech in the delivery of innovative and in-demand learning opportunities that will position our students well for careers in the energy industry upon graduation.”


Kenneth Adams, President, LaGuardia Community College, said, “The mentorship and internship opportunities offered through the New York Power Authority will provide valuable experience to students at Energy Tech and LaGuardia Community College. As the top producer of STEM graduates among CUNY community colleges, LaGuardia’s alumni are able to secure financially rewarding jobs that enable them to provide for themselves and their families.”


For more information about NYPA’s P-TECH program, email Alexandra.DeRosa@nypa.gov.


New York State's Nation-Leading Climate Plan 
Governor Cuomo's nation-leading climate agenda is the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy as New York State recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Enshrined into law through the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York is on a path to achieving its mandated goal of a zero-emissions electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy wide carbon neutrality. It builds on New York's unprecedented ramp-up of clean energy including over $4 billion invested in 91 large-scale renewable projects across the state, the creation of more than 150,000 jobs in New York's clean energy sector, a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035, and 1,800 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011. Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York will build on this progress and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, while meeting a goal to deliver 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments to disadvantaged communities and advancing progress towards the state's 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 TBtus. 

About NYPA

NYPA is the largest state public power organization in the nation, operating 16 generating facilities and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. More than 80 percent of the electricity NYPA produces is clean renewable hydropower. NYPA uses no tax money or state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity. For more information visit www.nypa.gov and follow us on Twitter @NYPAenergy, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and LinkedIn.