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NYPA Gifts Retired Electric Units to New York's Schools


New York Power Authority (NYPA) recently marked their third round of gifting electric and hybrid vehicles to technical programs in academic institutions scattered throughout New York State. The vehicle gifts, bundled with specialized hand tools and Level 2 chargers, have been purposed to equip the forthcoming wave of automotive technicians with the skills to adapt to advancing vehicle technology. Green vehicle technology is a rising trend, given the increase in demand for electric cars, and New York's ongoing green initiative. NYPA's Environmental Justice Department recently handed off a 2019 Subaru Crosstrek plug-in hybrid to Albany High School.


"Electric vehicles will become increasingly commonplace in New York State within the coming decade, which in turn creates budding professions for the youth," said Justin E. Driscoll, Power Authority President and CEO. "Through this donation, the Power Authority aims to offer practical learning tools that enhance technical know-how, enriching a predominant green workforce."


In a December meeting, the NYPA Board of Trustees resolved to transfer ownership of six Power Authority fleet vehicles along with specialized automotive training tools and charging systems to various educational programs.


Following Albany City School District in receiving these donations were:


Erie 1 Board of Cooperative Education Service, Dutchess County Board of Cooperative Educational Service, State University of New York College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill, Northland Workforce Training Center, Buffalo City School District (Burgard High School).


NYPA's Environmental Justice team selected these institutions, all of which serve disadvantaged communities in proximity to NYPA assets and strategic initiatives.


"The NYPA's generous donation is a golden opportunity for Albany High School students," said City School District of Albany Superintendent Joseph Hochreiter. "The inclusion of an electric vehicle to our educational tool kit enriches and greens our program."


At Albany High, students have the liberty to undertake automotive courses with or without following a defined "pathway". For those who chart the automotive path, three years of intense classes offer practical experience in car repair and internships within local businesses. Upon successful completion, these students receive a technical endorsement on their diploma, making them ready for conducing vehicle repair tasks.


"Given the rapid technological advancements within the automotive industry, grounding in basic knowledge and an understanding of how these powerful systems operate is vital," expressed Patrick Whitton, Albany High automotive teacher. "This vehicle donation will offer our students a means to experience and learn complex subjects."


Each of the recipient schools gains an additional set of insulated hand tools and a Level 2 charger. NYPA is also working on a training program for automotive technology instructors.


In 2019, NYPA initiated donating vehicles to local educational establishments for practical use as part of the automotive maintenance and repair syllabus. The genesis round of three donations seeded what may become a broader plan to use NYPA's electric vehicles for education. So far, 22 vehicles have been gifted.


As electric vehicles gain traction in the market, there will be a parallel growth in demand for technicians proficient in servicing these vehicles. Compared to conventional fossil fuel-powered cars, these new entrants come with different mechanical components; hence, opportunities are comparatively limited.


By donating these older hybrid and electric vehicles to educational organizations for potential EV technicians' hands-on training, NYPA is forging a tangible contribution to the green energy movement within New York State and amplifying the career potential for students participating in these programs. The inclusion of electric and hybrid vehicles in their curriculum enables these institutions to offer specialized certifications to students.


"The electric and hybrid units’ retirement and usage as educational tools is a prime example of how the Power Authority is building the clean energy workforce," said Kaela Mainsah, vice president of Environmental Justice. "Our objective is to ensure that historically under-resourced communities are given an equal opportunity in flourishing alongside New York's green energy future.”

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