There’s a new training program in the area to help Utica’s refugee population.
Leaders in Oneida County and other community partners laid out some of the details of the new training program at the Midtown Utica Community Center. The program provides solar installer training through Mohawk Valley Community College.
The program is for 18- to 24-year-olds and it leads to a certification. Students will also learn vocational ESL skills, including the job search and interview process.
“From talking to different companies in the area, there is a need for skilled labor in this division, so it is hitting that need and it's also hitting the need in our community for skills and good paying jobs,” said Chris Sunderlin, executive director of the Midtown Utica Community Center.
“I don't even know how a solar panel works and how do you even sell them, so with this program hopefully I can learn how to do that and if I can do this maybe I can advocate others to do it too,” said Joe Htwe, a participant in the program.
The project is funded by New York State’s Green Careers Environmental Justice Grant.