Todd Diorio, President of the Hudson Valley Building Trades, announced this week that the union has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Danskammer Energy that secures more than 400 union jobs for the region. The MOU will require the selected project contractor to enter into a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) or national construction agreement. The MOU also focuses on a commitment to diversifying the workforce for this project, attempting to increase opportunities for women, minorities and veterans by providing them with expanded career paths to good-paying construction jobs through apprenticeships.
“Today’s announcement shows the great partnership between the skilled construction workers that build our area’s necessary infrastructure, and the business people who create the opportunities for economic development. By working together, a better quality of life is created for all of us,” said Hudson Valley Building Trades President, Todd Diorio.
Danskammer Energy owns and operates an existing power plant in the Town of Newburgh. The company is engaged in the Article 10 process with New York State to undergo a plant repowering at the current site. The project would create cleaner and more efficient power generation, replacing the existing source of power, built in the 1950s. The total price tag for the project is $450 million.
Danskammer Energy anticipates starting construction activities in mid-to-late 2020. The project would create union work for approximately 30 months.
“This agreement will help ensure that Danskammer’s repowering project will create opportunities for a diverse workforce, made up of all members of our community,” said Bill Reid, CEO of Danskammer Energy.
“It’s also important to us that the jobs that are created are good-paying jobs with benefits, which are necessary to thrive in New York today.”
The Building Trades’ Memorandum of Understanding with Danskammer will create new pathways for good jobs for New Yorkers by:
• Expanding apprenticeship opportunities for a more diverse group of workers.
• Establishing accountability for Danskammer and illustrating the company’s commitment to creating good-paying local jobs.
• Creating mutually agreed upon costs, work rules, and restrictions that protect both the workers and the company
“Danskammer’s willingness to pursue a PLA is another example of the company’s commitment to the local community. The new facility will be more environmentally friendly because it will be one of the most efficient plants in New York using less natural gas, lowering emission levels, and eliminating the use of Hudson River water for cooling,” said Newburgh Town Supervisor Gil Piaquadio. “This project will generate much needed tax revenue for the town of Newburgh and the hundreds of local union members will stimulate the local economy while working at the site.”
“I applaud the MOU, which shows that a commitment has been made to local union labor.” said State Senator James Skoufus, “including provisions to create job opportunities for women, minorities and veterans for this project.”
Assemblyman Jonathan Jacobson also voiced his support for the project.
“The signing of the MOU is great news since I support the Building Trades in their efforts. It shows all parties involved are committed to construction jobs with good wages, benefits, and diversity. I will continue to work with all parties involved to bring about successful outcomes for this project,” said Jacobson.
Danskammer Energy says the project includes a reduction in current plant emissions by an estimated 80-90%, reducing use of natural gas by roughly 50%, eliminating the use of Hudson River water to cool the facility, and fast-start capability and increased reliability which will help back up the state’s growing renewable energy infrastructure. Once complete, the facility will supply power to approximately 500,000 homes.
“The economic and environmental benefits of this project are extensive. Not only does this project bring jobs and helps to stimulate the local economy, but it also creates a cleaner, more efficient and reliable source of energy for the region,” said Mike Gaydos, Recording Secretary for the Hudson Valley Building Trades.