April 22, 2022 (Deer Park, NY) – The PSEG Foundation has awarded United Way of Long Island a $45,000 grant toward VetsBuild, a program which provides career training and employment opportunities for Long Island veterans and their families. The grant will make possible a hands-on education in green construction for 25 veterans as they work to transform the United Way of Long Island headquarters in Deer Park, New York, into a Net Zero building that produces as much energy as it uses.
Veterans will shadow licensed construction professionals to help install more than 550 PV Panels at the United Way of Long Island facility, gaining experience that will help them find employment in the growing field of renewable energy, which is expected to support thousands of new jobs over the next five years.
“PSEG is proud to be a long-time supporter of United Way of Long Island,” said Calvin Ledford Jr. President PSEG Foundation. “We are always looking for ways to foster sustainability and economic empowerment in the communities we serve and the VetsBuild program is especially important to us to expand the workforce of professionals who design, build, and implement renewable energy in our region. By harnessing the talent of veterans and reducing barriers to skilled employment by culturally diverse, underserved people, we all reap the rewards.”
“Our thanks to PSEG for providing this important grant,” said Theresa A. Regnante, President and CEO of United Way of Long Island. “The VetsBuild program will not only provide workforce development training to connect veterans with the confidence and skills needed to obtain employment, but will also help lower utility costs for United Way, allowing us to reinvest the savings into programs and services which will directly impact the needs of our Long Island neighbors.”
Upon completion of the project, United Way’s headquarters will serve as a community education hub for interactive learning on Net Zero Energy systems and technologies. Tours will be available for local companies and nonprofits organizations who are considering converting to Net Zero. Expanding on its relevance to the community, in times of natural disasters, the building will be transformed into a Command Center in collaboration with the Volunteer Organization Active in Disaster (VOAD).
VetsBuild participants will also receive training at United Way’s E3 SmartBuild Training Center, a state-of-the art facility equipped with the latest technology and equipment. Graduates will work toward earning industry recognized certifications in green building such as BPI (Building Performance Institute) and OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration).
“PSEG Long Island employees have a long history of supporting the United Way and the organizations it serves,” said Peggy Keane, interim president and COO of PSEG Long Island. “We are committed to helping our communities thrive, and this grant will do just that by helping more than two dozen veterans install solar panels, develop new job skills, and a build a brighter future for their families. We are so happy to be able to make this possible with our partners at United Way.”
A signature program of the United Way of Long Island, VetsBuild provides career training, employment and wrap-around services to veterans who have served post 2001 and seek a career path. The program combines formal education with on-the-job training and engages local businesses and unions to hire graduates.
To learn more about United Way’s VetsBuild program, visit: www.unitedwayli.org/vetsbuild.
Photo (l to r) United Way’s Rick Wertheim, SVP Housing and Green Initiatives; PSEG Long Island’s Michael Voltz, Director, Energy Efficiency and Renewables; VetsBuild participants, Datrelle I., US Navy veteran, Matt K., US Air Force veteran and Caleb D, US Army veteran; United Way’s Stephen Muzyka, Director of Training and Vocational Services; PSEG Foundation’s Maria Spina, Manager Corporate Citizenship; and United Way’s Craig Fligstein, Chief Grants Officer.