The State University of New York (SUNY) and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) launched New York’s Offshore Wind Training Institute (OWTI) to train 2,500 workers as part of the largest public investment in offshore wind workforce development by any state in the U.S. Through a partnership between SUNY’s Farmingdale State College and Stony Brook University on Long Island, the $20 million investment in the state’s new training institute will advance offshore wind training programs and educational infrastructure needed to establish a skilled workforce that can support the emerging national offshore wind industry. The announcement was included in Governor Cuomo’s 2021 State of the State and supports New York’s nation-leading goal of developing 9,000 MW of offshore wind by 2035 as outlined in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.
State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras said , “SUNY is proud to partner with NYSERDA to launch New York State’s Offshore Wind Training Institute, a crucial component of Governor Cuomo’s plan to expand New York’s offshore wind and renewable energy industries. As we rebuild the post-COVID economy, we must focus on up-and-coming industries that are primed for growth. I want to thank Stony Brook University and Farmingdale State College for lending their top of the line facilities and the expertise of their faculty to this important effort. With their help and Governor Cuomo’s leadership, we will train thousands of workers annually for high-paying green energy jobs and play critical role in New York’s economic recovery.”
Doreen Harris, Acting President and CEO, NYSERDA said , “Governor Cuomo has taken the necessary actions to position New York as a national hub for the U.S. offshore wind industry, serving as a catalyst to attract significant private investments in the state and create thousands of well-paying jobs. We are excited to partner with SUNY on this initiative, which will deliver 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 to provide a pipeline of talent for other offshore wind projects in the U.S.”
New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, “The expanded use of offshore wind and this cutting-edge renewable energy industry is going to create thousands of jobs in our state. We are thrilled to partner with NYSERDA to ensure that our workforce is trained and new ready through initiatives like the Offshore Wind Training Institute, pre-apprenticeship training, and workforce training opportunities with our key partners in labor, business and education.
”OWTI is administered by Farmingdale State College and Stony Brook University in partnership with NYSERDA and will certify and train 2,500 New York workers beginning this year to support both offshore and onshore renewable energy projects.New York today issued the first solicitation by the Offshore Wind Training Institute (OWTI) to develop the world-class workforce needed to build its offshore wind projects and support the offshore wind industry. Through this solicitation, $3 million is being made available to support educational and training organizations focusing on early training and skills development, including pre-apprenticeship training, for disadvantaged communities and workforce training initiatives that build partnerships between businesses, labor, workforce development and training institutions to support local supply chains and manufacturing in New York State. Selected training institutions will aim to begin training workers shortly after the awards which are expected in the summer of 2021.
Farmingdale State College President John S. Nader said, “Farmingdale State College has been working closely with Stony Brook University and other partners in education and labor to make offshore wind an integral part of the energy and economic landscape of Long Island and the State of New York. Preparing New Yorkers for the jobs of the future is central to FSC’s mission. We are already working to create the needed training and educational opportunities that can be in place by summer 2021.”
Fotis Sotiropoulos, SUNY Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering and Interim Provost and Senior VP for Academic Affairs at Stony Brook University said , “Stony Brook is eager to partner in leading the Offshore Wind Training Institute with Farmingdale State College. We bring the full strength of our expertise in clean energy research, economic development and interconnections with industry to advance New York State as the nation’s leader in the offshore wind energy sector. Stony Brook is working closely with NYSERDA and Farmingdale to enable educational and employment opportunities that this institute will provide.”Future solicitations over the next four years will be informed by sector research and include competitive grant and program opportunities for New York-based public and private colleges, community colleges, independent training institutions, nonprofits, and labor organizations to serve as OWTI training and academic partners.
The OWTI will also collaborate closely with the newly established 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). To maximize benefits to New York’s workforce, the OWTI and the NOWTC are establishing comprehensive offshore wind training in New York. The OWTI will also work in close collaboration with Equinor’s workforce development and training initiatives in key regions across the state.
The announcement complements the two historic offshore wind awards totaling nearly 2,500 MW – the largest offshore wind procurement in the nation’s history – that were announced in the Governor’s 2021 State of the State. These projects will be a major economic driver, supporting more than 5,200 direct jobs with a combined economic activity of $8.9 billion in labor, supplies, development and manufacturing statewide. The $20 million OWTI reflects significant and coordinated public and private partnerships to advance New York’s nation-leading pursuit of offshore wind and will educate the clean energy workforce of the future to build the state’s growing pipeline of projects and support the industry regionally.