BROOKLYN, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Soulful Synergy LLC, a minority-owned workforce development agency committed to creating equitable, inclusive, and sustainable communities, announced today that it has received $1.65 million in combined funding from private and public entities, including the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to address clean energy labor shortages and the sector’s lack of diversity. This funding will support Soulful Synergy’s fast-growing clean energy workforce training and job placement services for underserved populations, enabling nearly 1,500 more individuals to go through workforce development training for free, beginning in 2023. Soulful Synergy has already developed over 6,000 workers to date, demonstrating its ability to successfully use workforce development funding to support state climate legislation and decarbonization goals.
Among the grants is an initial $200,000 from the DOE’s Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize. Broken up into two phases, Soulful Synergy was selected among 18 applicants as a winner in phase I for its contribution to creating bottom-up solutions for sustainable development. Soulful Synergy will train 250 individuals in energy efficiency and building systems with this funding. The workforce development agency also was recently invited to pursue additional funding in the award’s phase II, which will commence in Spring 2023.
NYSERDA also provided $498,917 in funding for an innovative Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Infrastructure Feasibility Training for 1,000 New Yorkers. This type of training will upskill New Yorkers working directly or indirectly on EV charging installation and provide a model to be replicated around the world, accelerating global EV adoption. With NYSERDA’s funding, Soulful Synergy will provide this training for free, supporting New York’s decarbonization and electrification efforts.
“We are not only conducting green job training, we are helping individuals most affected by environmental and social injustice to become a meaningful part of the solution,” said Alejandro Alvarez, co-founder and chief executive officer at Soulful Synergy. “We’re grateful to our funders for seeing the value in the work we do and extending these generous grants.”
“Our funders’ generosity makes it possible for us to ensure equal access to our job training and recruitment programs,” said Dwayne R. Norris, co-founder and chief operating officer at Soulful Synergy. “Over the past 10 years, we have trained more than 6,000 individuals for jobs, and for clean energy specifically we have reached a 75% job placement rate for jobseekers in the space. We are building a bridge between underserved communities and high-quality careers.”
“As Governor Hochul leads New York’s transition to a green economy, NYSERDA is committed to help equitably train the next generation of clean energy workers, and by supporting Soulful Synergy’s electric vehicle training charging program, we are doing just that,” said Doreen M. Harris, NYSERDA President and CEO. “I commend Soulful Synergy for providing this critical training to those in underserved communities, which will help ensure that all New Yorkers can participate in and benefit from New York’s rapidly growing clean energy industry.”
Also as part of New York State’s clean energy transition initiative, Governor Hochul recently announced $52 million in funding to support Regional Clean Energy Hubs, which are trusted community-based organizations providing support to ensure all New Yorkers have equitable access to the opportunities of New York’s clean energy transition. As one of three organizations to serve as a Manhattan-based hub, WE ACT For Environmental Justice (WE ACT) was awarded $3.8 million to establish community-based resources, and an additional $950,000 from a private funding source is being used in conjunction with Soulful Synergy to provide clean energy education and training for energy efficiency and building electrification, supporting the launch and growth of the "WE ACT Green Institute."
Training programs that upskill workers and promote underrepresented talents are critical to meet green job demand and accelerate the decarbonization of economies everywhere. Through collaborations with U.S. DOE, NYSERDA, NYS Department of Labor, WE ACT, GBRI, Con Edison, Willdan Energy Solutions, Green Tech LEADers, LIFE3, Energy Economic Development Corp, Kawi Energy Group and many other impactful private and public entities, Soulful Synergy is able to scale and help more workers benefit from the transition to a clean energy economy through tailored and affordable training and recruitment programs.
About Soulful Synergy
Founded in 2013 and headquartered in New York City, Soulful Synergy is a minority-owned workforce development agency dedicated to creating equitable and sustainable communities. For almost a decade, Soulful Synergy has successfully run tailored recruitment and training programs that tap into the soul of communities and upskill local workforces for clean energy and other high-demand jobs. The company has secured millions in funding to provide free workforce training services that support climate legislation and decarbonization goals. Notable investors and supporters include U.S. DOE, NYSERDA and NYS Department of Labor. For more information, visit https://soulfulsynergy.org/