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 for the wind industry. 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.

New York this week 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.

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.

This announcement complements the two historic offshore wind awards totaling nearly 2,500 MW – the largest offshore wind procurement in the nation’s history thus far – 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.

News item from NYSERDA

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