To tackle one of the most vexing sources of greenhouse gas emissions—the transportation sector—the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority created the New York Clean Transportation Prizes, a groundbreaking $85 million award program designed to accelerate transition to a clean transportation future. NYSERDA wants to make sure that solutions sponsored by this prize benefit disadvantaged communities, including low- to moderate-income and environmental justice communities. To achieve this goal, each of the many applicants from across the nation will need training and help on how to engage disadvantaged communities in New York State and integrate their concerns, perspectives, and solutions into prize applications.
Under contract to NYSERDA, ERG is working to ensure that disadvantaged communities across New York State are aware of, are engaged in, and ultimately benefit from projects proposed for the Clean Transportation Prizes program. ERG works with each prize team to review a stakeholder engagement plan, support virtual and in-person community meetings, moderate and lead webinars on best practices for working with community-based organizations, and support development of culturally sensitive communication and outreach products. ERG is also conducting trainings, creating guidance materials, and holding one-on-one sessions to make sure that applicants are building bridges to local communities and designing programs that reflect authentic intentions and partnerships in accordance with the prize program’s goals. Under a separate NYSERDA contract, ERG electric vehicle and transportation experts also provide technical assistance to multiple competitors pursuing vehicle electrification projects.