New York invests in wind workforce training

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New York State has announced a new training initiative to develop a workforce for the renewable energy industry that it says is part of the largest public investment in offshore wind workforce development by any U.S. state.

In its first phase, the New York Offshore Wind Training Institute (OWTI) will train 2,500 workers designed to support the state’s goal of developing 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind energy by 2035.

Through a partnership between the State University of New York (SUNY) Farmingdale State College and Long Island’s Stony Brook University, the $20 million training investment will advance offshore wind educational programs and the educational infrastructure needed to establish an apt workforce to support the emerging domestic offshore wind industry in New York and elsewhere in the United States.

“SUNY is proud to partner with NYSERDA to launch the New York State Offshore Wind Training Institute, a crucial component of Governor Cuomo’s plan to expand New York’s offshore wind and renewable energy industries,” said State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras. “As we rebuild the post-COVID economy, we must focus on emerging industries that are poised for growth.”

New York released the Offshore Wind Training Institute’s (OWTI) first solicitation last Saturday to develop the workforce needed to build its offshore wind projects and support the offshore wind industry.

Through this solicitation, $3 million is made available to support educational and training organizations that focus on early training and skills development, including pre-apprenticeship training, for disadvantaged communities and workforce training initiatives that build partnerships between business, labor, workforce development, and training institutions to support local supply chains and manufacturing in New York State.

The OWTI is administered by Farmingdale State College and Stony Brook University in partnership with NYSERDA.

The selected institutions are expected to begin training workers shortly after awards, expected in the summer of 2021, and will certify and train 2,500 New York workers for both offshore and onshore renewable energy projects.

Additional solicitations over the next four years will include grant opportunities and competitive programs for New York-based public and private universities, community colleges, independent training institutions, non-profit organizations and labor organizations to serve as OWTI’s academic and training partners.

OWTI will also collaborate with the newly created National Offshore Wind Training Center (NOWTC), for which Suffolk County Community College serves as the academic anchor arm through a $10 million partnership with the Sunrise Wind Project (a joint venture of Ørsted A/S and Eversource Energy).

OWTI will also work collaboratively with Equinor’s workforce development and training initiatives in key regions across the state.

“Governor Cuomo has taken the necessary steps to position New York as a national hub for the U.S. offshore wind industry, serving as a catalyst to attract significant private investment in the state and creating thousands of high-paying jobs,” said Doreen Harris, acting president and CEO of NYSERDA.

“We are excited to partner with SUNY on this initiative, which will provide opportunities across the state to prepare and train New Yorkers to work on the state’s first and future offshore wind projects, as well as provide a talent pipeline for other offshore wind projects in the United States.”

The training program complements two offshore wind energy awards totaling nearly 2,500 megawatts that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced in the 2021 State of the State address.

Source The Maritime Executive

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