SIDNEY, NY – (WIVT/WBGH) The U.S. Senate Majority Leader flew into Sidney Airport this afternoon to announce investments in Delaware County to lower energy costs and create local jobs.

Senator Chuck Schumer visited Sidney today to announce the launch of a new push to secure over one point four million dollars for the Delaware County Electric Cooperative’s new line-worker training program.

The DCEC is a not-for-profit electric distribution co-op serving more than 4,800 members in the rural counties of Delaware, Otsego, Schoharie, and Chenango. The new program would establish a line-worker apprenticeship program and offer training to more than 200 new and existing line workers. Schumer says that the proposal will address workforce needs in both the electric and telecommunications industries.

“We’re launching our new push to help Delaware County’s rural co-op, so they can expand services and train workers for good paying, jobs. So, this is a one-two; keeps the cost down, and allows them to get some good paying, new jobs to expand the middle class, here in the Southern Tier,” said Schumer.

Schumer highlighted the ‘direct pay’ provision in the Inflation Reduction Act, which allows non-profit rural co-ops to get paid the value of the clean energy tax credit. He says this can help even the playing field with private utilities, giving the co-ops access to qualifying clean energy initiatives such as solar, wind, battery storage, and carbon capture projects.