DICKINSON, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – BOCES students will have a new facility to learn how to become carpenters, plumbers, electricians, masons and truck drivers thanks to a grant secured by Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo.

New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie came to the Broome-Tioga BOCES main campus in the Town of Dickinson today to announce nearly $1.3 million to build a Trades Complex on campus.

It will be a new facility for high school students to receive training in carpentry, electrical, plumbing, masonry and heavy equipment operations.

BOCES also plans to start offering Commercial Driver License, or CDL, training as well as preparation for renewable energy jobs.

In addition to classroom space, there will be storage space for heavy equipment as well as a new pad for construction of Habitat for Humanity homes and a solar farm.

Heastie said that Lupardo was a big champion for the project.

“What better resource can you have than an educational facility to teach people skills that will allow them to take care of their families, help build up their communities, get us into the new economy of renewable energy,” said Heastie. “All of these things that we talk about, and things that we fight for in Albany. So, it’s really good to be here and all the credit goes to Donna, it was her idea.”

The breakdown of the costs are $900,000 for the training building, $180,000 for site development, $125,000 for the solar farm and 84 grand for a road servicing the complex.

Brice Birden graduated from Binghamton High School and the BOCES carpentry program in June.

Birden said that he thinks more students should consider a career in the trades.

“The BOCES program helped me find my purpose in life and provided me with the tools and work ethics needed to be successful in my trade. The support and dedication of my teachers and the BOCES staff was an inspiration to pursue my goals. One day, I hope to own my own carpentry business.”

Heastie told NewsChannel 34 that he initially planned to announce an even $1 million grant, but then decided to arrange for the state to pick up the full tab after hearing a briefing on the project from BOCES officials.

No word yet on a timeline for construction.