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How did you first learn about NYSERDA?

I was introduced to NYSERDA’s manager of workforce development, Adele Ferranti, at the first Clean Energy Workforce Education Conference. I was immediately impressed by the quality and quantity of NYSERDA’s clean energy workforce development programs. When I eventually saw the ad for a position with the workforce development group, I jumped at the opportunity to apply. At the time, I was with SUNY Empire State College (ESC), managing projects to open SUNY programs in the Middle East, Europe, and Latin America. The program development and project management experience I gained at SUNY ESC seemed a good fit for the goals of NYSERDA’s workforce development program.

What are you working on now?

Rebecca Hughes

Rebecca Hughes

I’m most excited by our Career Pathways training program which helps people who are unemployed transition to employment in the clean energy and energy efficiency industries. I also manage NYSERDA’s on-the-job training program, which has helped over 300 people to find jobs with clean energy companies, which is a tremendous boost for themselves, their families, and the local economies where they live and work. It’s good for the employer, too, because our program relieves some of the risk by paying a portion of the potential employee’s salary during the training period. These programs are great examples of what we all do at NYSERDA—we help transform individuals, communities, and the environment, all the while helping to create a more resilient and affordable energy infrastructure.

What works for you about the NYSERDA workplace?

With two sons at home, including a new baby, it can be challenging to balance work and family life- but it’s also rewarding. It’s important to me that my work has meaning and that all of those hours spent away from my kids result in positive changes to the economy and the environment- these are lasting impacts that will benefit their lives.   I’m also grateful to be surrounded by experienced people who are passionate about their work and the difference it makes in our communities. I believe that NYSERDA’s greatest asset is human capital- my coworkers are brilliant and many are experts in their field. At the end of the day, I know I’ve done both well and good.