FARMINGDALE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Careers in green energy are on the rise, and now there are new opportunities to learn the ropes in order to join a booming workforce.
Inside the Net-Zero Energy Center on the shores of Jones Beach, solar panels generate electricity and geothermal wells heat and cool. Soon, the facility will train a new green energy workforce of students, CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff reported Tuesday.
"I would want to start out with solar panels and wind turbines and see which one I really like and try and learn as much as I can to get to the top. that's not a job, that's a career," trainee Nasheem Nero said.
A career that until the pandemic was outpacing all other job growth in New York. It's now rebounding steadily, providing career opportunities while helping the environment.
"It's really an exciting time for young people to get involved with green energy, high-performance home building, energy retrofit, renewable energy, offshore wind ... there are so many opportunities. It's really like a new era," said Rick Wertheim of the United Way of Long Island.
That's why the United Way is launching "Power Up," to train young people, veterans and the unemployed with a Bank of America grant on Long Island, which it calls the front lines of climate change and rising seas.
"If we think about climate change and think of where the world is going and the end of the fossil fuel era sometime in the future, whether it's 20 or 50 years from now, this where there will be job opportunities," said Bob Isaksen, president of Bank of America Long Island.
New York is aiming for a 100% carbon free electric grid by 2040, and jobs are needed to fuel that green economy.
Farmingdale State College is the State University of New York's first to offer new programs in wind turbine technology and sustainable energy.
"It is very much in line with what the turbine manufacturer, in particular GE Renewables, is looking for to hire as operation and maintenance technician for windfarms," Farmingdale State Associate Dean Marjaneh Issapour said.
And, surprisingly, a strong background in math and science is not a prerequisite. The programs will train you for your first job.
The United Way program will be kicking off on Oct. 4. There will be five cohorts with 100 students being trained each year. Participants interested can learn more by clicking here.
For more information about the Farmingdale State College programs, please click here.
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