Photo: United Way of Long Island
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Pronto, United Way graduates Spanish speakers in Power Up

United Way of Long Island’s workforce development program, Power Up! Wind, Solar & Renewables, graduated its first Spanish-speaking group last week. 

The free training, supported by Bank of America, is focused on creating a foundation and pathways to secure careers in the renewable energy industry for Long Islanders. 

In partnership with Pronto of Long Island, the course was held over five weeks, covering: Hands-on Training for Next-Generation in Construction, Building Science Principles, Assistance with Job Placement, and OSHA 10. More than 120 people registered for the inaugural group, for which 32 were selected and 27 graduated.

More than 10,000 jobs in renewable energy will be available in New York State by 2030, according to the state Department of Labor. The 2020 Census reported that Hispanic residents represented 20.2 percent of Long Island’s population, growing by more than a quarter within a decade. 

“Your language is your gateway,” Theresa Regnante, president and CEO of United Way of Long Island, said in a written statement. “Investing in a program that connects Spanish-speakers with training, networking and mentorship opportunities, and employer/job connections is not only the right thing but also the smart thing to address these communities’ energy and employment needs while also protecting the environment.”

Since Power Up! Wind, Solar & Renewables began in 2022, there have been nearly 300 graduates, according to the statement. About 60 percent of those have found jobs in the energy industry through connections made in the workforce program. Other graduates have gone on to achieve advanced training.

Power Up! graduates are proficient in the installation of clean heating and cooling technologies, high-efficiency HVAC, heat pumps, solar panels, EV charging and the benefits of renewable energy, according to the statement. The program is made possible by Bank of America, New York Empire State Development and National Grid Ventures. 

The Power Up! program is open to youths, veterans, unemployed workers and those seeking new careers leading to employment in the renewable/sustainable, smart grid, and green construction industries. For more information and to apply, visit:

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