September 23, 2011

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Federal grant to fund solar energy manufacturing cluster in Newburgh

NEWBURGH – An almost $2 million federal grant will allow the creation of a New York Renewable Energy Cluster in Newburgh. The money will make way for the Solar Energy Consortium to expand its industry-led clean energy manufacturing cluster into Orange County.

Congressman Maurice Hinchey, who helped get the grant and played a key role in establishing TSEC, said the cluster will mean work for Newburgh residents.

“It’s going to create a lot of jobs for the City of Newburgh and it’s exactly the type of economic development I envisioned when I spearheaded creation of TSEC back in 2007,” Hinchey said.

Newburgh Mayor Nicholas Valentine said the city has several locations where a solar manufacturer could set up shop and put local people to work.

It’s unlike anything else we’ve had in the past,” Valentine said. “Before this, it’s always been, ‘Let’s try to create six jobs and go out and find somebody who wants to hire you’,” he said. “Now it’s the other way around. Now, we’ve got an entity that wants to come into the City of Newburgh, create the jobs and then fill them with people from the City of Newburgh.”

The federal grant is divided into three components -- $800,000 for TSEC to establish cluster development mechanisms; $1 million to SUNY Orange to increase course offerings and tailor them to renewable energy cluster needs; and $150,000 to Gateway to entrepreneurial Tomorrow to target underserved and disadvantaged residents in Newburgh and provide job-related educational training.


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