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Champlain Hudson Power Express Announces Laura Gibson as Director of Workforce Development


Chris Singleton,

Champlain Hudson Power Express Announces Laura Gibson as Director of Workforce Development

Newly created role will support the project’s initiatives to maximize workforce opportunities for disadvantaged communities

New York – November 15, 2022 – The Champlain Hudson Power Express (CHPE), an approximately 339-mile fully-buried transmission line that will deliver 1,250 megawatts (MW) of clean, renewable hydropower to New York City, announced today that it has furthered efforts to deliver on the project’s workforce and green-job training initiatives with the hiring of Laura Gibson as its Director of Workforce Development.

Gibson brings years of economic and workforce development experience to this new role, where she is committed to working with disadvantaged communities across New York State to create career opportunities in the green economy for workers. This effort is executed in close coordination with the building and construction trade labor unions, workforce development training programs, and local leaders. Ms. Gibson, in keeping with goals established by Governor Kathy Hochul and NYSERDA, will maximize opportunities for disadvantaged workers and Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises, Veteran, and Veteran-Disabled Owned Small Businesses on the CHPE project. She will also participate in the implementation of the Green Economy Fund (GEF) a $40M workforce development fund created to support career pathways into green jobs for disadvantaged communities and providing workers the tools they need to succeed. Gibson will work with environmental justice organizations, community boards, elected officials, labor unions, and others to promote funding opportunities and work towards an equitable, meaningful distribution of funds.

Gibson previously served as both Economic Development Advisor for the New York City Mayor’s Office of Talent & Workforce Development and Sandy Workforce Development Manager for the New York City Housing Authority’s Office of Recovery & Resilience. She holds a Master’s degree in Urban Policy Analysis and Management from the New School, as well as a Bachelor’s in Sociology from St. John’s University.

“The Champlain Hudson Power Express is a historic project that’s one of the largest infrastructure investments in New York State history and will play a critical role in ushering in New York’s clean energy transition, and I am proud to be joining this incredible team,” said Laura Gibson. “The CHPE Green Economy Fund will help ensure that New Yorkers in disadvantaged and frontline communities are the direct beneficiaries of green economy job training that prepares them to take advantage of New York’s transition to a green economy, including potential opportunities provided by our project and others in the future.”

“We are extremely excited to be welcoming Laura to the CHPE team,” said Jennifer Laird-White, Transmission Developers Inc. Vice President of External Affairs. “Laura’s experience will be critical in fully engaging with communities to create both opportunity and awareness of CHPE’s significant economic impact including access to union labor jobs, training programs and other opportunities on the project, as well as working with the Advisory Board of the project’s $40 million Green Economy Fund that will empower residents in disadvantaged communities.”

“If New York is to successfully complete these clean infrastructure projects that play a crucial role in continuing its leadership in renewable energy, there must be a commitment from stakeholders to creating good-paying, middle class careers with benefits for New York’s hardworking people,” said Gary LaBarbera, President of the NYS Building and Construction Trades Council. “By appointing Laura Gibson as Director of Workforce Development, Transmission Developers Inc. has proven its willingness to maximize union job opportunities for disadvantaged workers from diverse backgrounds. We look forward to working with Laura to provide a ready workforce for upcoming clean energy transmission projects that not only improve our environment, but provide our members with sustainable, long-term career paths.”

“We look forward to working with Laura Gibson in her role as Workforce Development Director for the Champlain-Hudson Power Express project,” said Vincent Alvarez, President of the NYC Central Labor Council and Principal Officer of Climate Jobs NY. “As New Yorkers begin to see the transition to a clean energy economy, it is crucial that projects create opportunities for good union careers and strong labor standards not only in construction, but in the operations and maintenance, and domestic supply chain of renewable technologies.”

“Looking forward to collaborating with Laura and excited about this critical component of the Champlain Hudson Power Express,” said Maritza Silva-Farrell, Executive Director at ALIGN. “I have enjoyed the opportunity to engage with the project team and appreciate their commitment to ensuring climate justice and workers justice go hand in hand.”

“We applaud the Champlain-Hudson Power Express project in prioritizing workforce development and the intentional inclusion of historically marginalized workers on this important renewable energy project,” said Lenore Friedlaender, Executive Director of Climate Jobs NY. “We look forward to working together and growing the number of good union jobs in the renewable energy sector and its supply chain.”

“The appointment of Laura Gibson as Director of Workforce Development is another historic milestone in the Champlain Hudson Power Express Project,” said Garry Douglas, President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce. “This gives life to an exciting aspect of the CHPE clean energy transmission line from Quebec to New York City, providing leadership for the project’s commitment of $40 million for an unprecedented Green Economy Fund. With Laura’s experience and skills, we can foresee green energy training and employment initiatives around the state, including in the North Country. We thank her for coming aboard and look forward to great things ahead. Onward and upward!”

Part of New York State’s comprehensive renewable energy vision to reduce by 80% New York City’s reliance on fossil fuels by 2030, CHPE will deliver enough reliable clean energy to power more than 1 million homes across the city. The buried transmission line – scheduled to begin construction later this year – will lower greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing half a million cars from the roads, create 1,400 good-paying jobs and generate billions of dollars in new investment in New York’s economy while delivering affordable renewable hydropower.

About the Champlain Hudson Power Express

CHPE involves the construction of an underground and underwater transmission line spanning approximately 339 miles between the Canada–U.S. border and New York City.

CHPE will also provide competitively priced power that is expected to lower electricity generation costs throughout the state by $17 billion over the first 25 years of operation, all the while providing increased reliability and resiliency for the downstate grid. The project also provides a total of $3.5 billion in economic benefits to New Yorkers and creates approximately 1,400 family-sustaining jobs during construction, with a commitment to use union labor. CHPE will provide an economic boost to 73 municipalities and 59 school districts throughout New York State with an increase in incremental tax revenue of $1.4 billion in funding for local communities over the first 25 years of the project.

About Hydro-Québec

Hydro-Québec is the largest renewable energy producer in North America. For decades, the company has been a reliable energy partner for New York, providing clean power to the State in support of its clean energy and reliability needs. In order to source the CHPE, Hydro-Québec will expand its transmission grid in Québec, from the Hertel substation to the Québec-New York border.

About Transmission Developers

Transmission Developers Inc., a Blackstone portfolio company, has spent a decade meticulously developing with local stakeholders the N.Y. portion of the project and its approximately 339-mile route. The solid-state buried cable will travel a route through Lake Champlain, the Hudson and Harlem Rivers and terrestrially primarily on railroad rights of way and roads until it reaches a converter station in Astoria, Queens where its clean energy will be distributed into New York City.