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Alcoa, NYPA agree on power allocation, job training program

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MASSENA — Alcoa and the New York Power Authority have entered into an agreement to keep the Alcoa West smelter competitive and an ambitious plan to train the company’s employees for high-demand technical jobs.

The power authority will ensure continued power to Massena West, and Alcoa will minimize the impact of the Massena East potline close on its work force, a release from Alcoa says.

All 332 employees affected by the closure are expected to take advantage of voluntary incentive programs, job transfers and/or training programs. The company will maintain operations at Massena West, including 750 jobs, the release says.

In the new agreement, NYPA will temporarily reduce Alcoa’s hydropower supply contract of 478 megawatts, while supplying enough energy to support the operations of Massena West. NYPA will also waive two utility charges on Alcoa’s monthly power bills, further supporting the plant’s viability.

The training program will launch “Massena’s largest-ever apprenticeship program to prepare the workforce of the future,” the release says.

“We are committed to Massena and have a vested interest in the success of this community, so the apprenticeship program is designed to have a meaningful impact on both its economy and its labor force,” said John Martin, president of Alcoa Global Primary Products – United States in the release. “We would like to thank the New York Power Authority, our unions, state, local and other stakeholders for their hard work and cooperation throughout this process. We appreciate their collective support in ensuring that Massena West remains competitive well into the future.”

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