Governor Hochul and Suffolk County Executive Bellone Announce Land Transfer to Bring National Offshore Wind Training Center to Suffolk County and Train New Yorkers for Green Jobs
$9 Million Competitive Opportunity Launched for Expanded Offshore Wind Workforce Development and Training Initiatives to Address Workforce Gaps and Prepare New Yorkers for High-Growth Jobs
October 20, 2022
Governor Kathy Hochul and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone today announced the successful land transfer between New York State and Suffolk County to bring a National Offshore Wind Training Center to New York. The Governor also launched a $9 million competitive opportunity through the State's Offshore Wind Training Institute, led by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority in collaboration with the State University of New York Farmingdale State College and Stony Brook University, for expanded offshore wind workforce development and training initiatives to address workforce gaps and prepare New Yorkers for high-growth jobs in this growing industry. Today's announcements represent continued progress to establish New York State as the nation's primary hub for offshore wind and supports the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act goal to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035.
"New York is leading the charge for the clean energy revolution," Governor Hochul said. "We are partnering with innovative, industry leading companies and spearheading billions in public and private investments to spur economic development and good-paying jobs for New Yorkers. The national Offshore Wind Training Center will enhance our efforts to prepare our workforce for the green jobs of the future, support the physical infrastructure needed for these clean energy projects, and solidify New York's role as a global leader in this powerhouse industry."
Suffolk County purchased the state-owned parcel located in Brentwood for $1.46 million for the creation of a community-centered space that expands access to family-sustaining job opportunities and educational advancement, particularly for high school and college-age New Yorkers entering the workforce. The site, which includes a 22-year license agreement with the County, will host a newly established National Offshore Wind Training Center (NOWTC) that will be funded by a $10 million investment by Sunrise Wind (a joint venture of Ørsted A/S and Eversource Energy), in partnership with the Long Island Federation of Labor-AFLCIO, the Nassau and Suffolk Building and Construction Trades, Suffolk County Community College, International Brotherhood of Electric Workers, the Utility Workers Union of America, BlueGreen Alliance and Minority Millennials. The NOWTC is expected to train and certify hundreds, if not thousands, of workers under Global Wind Organization (GWO) training standards for offshore wind. In addition, NOWTC will offer curriculum and support services for entryways into pre-apprenticeship training for the construction industry as well as manufacturing certifications that will benefit regional employment.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said, "Ensuring that every individual in every community in our region has the same opportunity for success is key to growing our economy. This community-centered hub is a place for education, government, industry and the community to come together to open doors to opportunity. The partnership with the National Offshore Wind Training Center will allow our residents to be at the center of the emerging offshore wind industry. I want to thank Governor Hochul for her commitment to workforce development and helping to usher in a new era of economic growth in our county."
To maximize benefits to New York's workforce, the NOWTC will collaborate closely with the State's Offshore Wind Training Institute (OWTI) to establish comprehensive and cross-cutting offshore wind and clean energy training and workforce development initiatives. The $20 million OWTI is advancing offshore wind training programs and the educational infrastructure needed to establish a skilled workforce that can support the emerging national offshore wind industry. In cultivating a statewide umbrella of industry, academic, trade and community partnerships, the OWTI will train 2,500 New York workers beginning this year through 2027 to support both offshore and onshore renewable energy projects.
Today, NYSERDA released the OWTI's second solicitation seeking proposals for new workforce development and training initiatives from technical/vocational high schools, community colleges, universities, unions, training and job placement intermediaries, community-based organizations and non-profit organizations. Grant funding will be provided for training initiatives and programs that focus on new or existing workers with preference given to projects that serve priority populations and individuals from underserved communities. NYSERDA will also prioritize projects that offer direct entry into the offshore wind workforce through partnerships with offshore wind original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), distributors, vendors, suppliers, developers, labor unions, and trade associations. Selected training institutions will begin training workers shortly after the awards which are expected starting in early 2023.
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority President and CEO and Climate Action Council Co-Chair Doreen M. Harris said, "Under Governor Hochul's leadership, New York continues to cement its path to nine gigawatts of offshore wind while ensuring we establish a diverse, well-trained, locally based talent pool who through family-sustaining careers will develop, manufacture, construct, and operate our clean energy economy. NYSERDA looks forward to the many partnerships that will be created as result of this opportunity to prepare and train New Yorkers to work on the state's nation-leading portfolio of offshore wind projects and beyond."
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner and Climate Action Council Co-Chair Basil Seggos said, "New York has established itself as a leader in offshore wind, and this training center will help to ensure that these good-paying jobs of the future will be available for all New Yorkers. With climate a priority of Governor Hochul's administration, our state is once again advancing efforts to support 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035 and achieve our ambitious Climate Act targets of 85 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and 100 percent zero-emission electricity by 2040 to protect our environment and combat climate change."
Public Service Chairman Rory M. Christian said, "The offshore wind projects being built are vital to meet the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act's nation-leading carbon reduction and clean-energy targets to combat climate change. I applaud Governor Hochul's leadership to ensure development of a workforce training program on Long Island. These offshore wind projects benefit all New Yorkers by reducing reliance on fossil fuels, boosting clean-energy investment, creating clean-energy jobs, and improving our environment."
Ørsted Offshore North America CEO David Hardy said, "Ørsted is committed to establishing a new U.S. workforce to build our projects, and that means making major investments in worker training and collaborating with local labor unions, workforce development organizations, and community partners. From the outset, the goal for the NOWTC has been to partner with industry, labor and academia to create a center of gravity for the emerging offshore wind industry in Suffolk County. The NOWTC leadership team is ideally suited to understand the requirements of the offshore wind sector industry and to design programming that supports the needs of both area workers and this growing industry. We thank Governor Hochul for her continued leadership to ensure New Yorkers have the skills they need to help us build these critical clean energy projects."
Eversource Energy Chief Executive Officer and President Joe Nolan said, "We are proud to support the creation of a National Offshore Wind Training Center that will provide crucial training and opportunity pathways for New Yorkers looking to enter this exciting industry. Thanks to Governor Hochul's leadership, New York is fostering the development of a new offshore wind workforce, and the NOWTC in Brentwood presents an ideal opportunity to foster strong community connections that provide awareness and access to the job opportunities in the emerging offshore wind industry."
The OWTI solicitation includes a two-step application process consisting of a required concept paper followed by an invite-only full proposal. Concept papers will be accepted on a rolling basis starting October 20, 2022 through March 23, 2023 and will be evaluated within four to six weeks of receipt. Upon favorable review, select applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal with the following due dates:
- Round One- January 17, 2023;
- Round Two - March 23, 2023;
- Round Three - June 1, 2023.
Development and implementation of selected offshore wind training programs and initiatives is expected to be completed within approximately 18 to 24 months. These new training initiatives will build on the OWTI's first two winning proposals to Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, New York, and LaGuardia Community College in Queens, New York, to support early training and skills development for underserved communities and priority populations - including veterans, individuals with disabilities, low-income individuals, homeless individuals, and single parents - in both the Capital Region and New York City.
State University of New York Chancellor Deborah F. Stanley said, "Under the leadership of Governor Hochul and as a result of a deep commitment across our state to increase our use of renewable energy sources, New York is making significant investments in education and training for our future workforce. SUNY is proud to be a part of this important work to prepare students for the emerging offshore wind industry, with good-paying jobs in manufacturing, wind turbine technology, energy transmission, and more. Our thanks to our partners at the Offshore Wind Training Institute, particularly NYSERDA, as well as Farmingdale State College and Stony Brook University who are advancing this nation-leading effort to fight climate change and educate the clean energy workforce of the future."
Assemblymember Steve Englebright said, "Access to renewable energy will define the future. That is why it is so heartening to see that Governor Kathy Hochul is putting the full weight of her office to develop offshore wind energy so that it can provide us with an optimistic future that includes both health benefits because of decreased air pollution and thousands of new jobs. Congratulations to Governor Hochul for her wisdom and vision."
Nassau and Suffolk Building and Construction Trades President Matthew Aracich said, "Today we take the next great step in connecting Long Island's Workforce to the heart of our new economy for New York State. I'd like to express my sincere appreciation to Governor Hochul for her leadership in advancing the offshore wind industry here on Long Island. The Governor has delivered on a promise of making workforce development her top priority, and today she proved it! We stood here together as she announced a new funding stream across the street from what will become the National Offshore Wind Training Center (NOWTC). This facility will serve as a magnet to attract talent through workforce development programs in the Brentwood Community and help point the youth to explore new paths in career opportunities. NOWTC's strategic partnership with Orsted and Maersk will create a central training facility that will make GWO certification available to anyone working in the Offshore Wind Industry and fills a niche that is needed in preparation for the 9GW of offshore wind we are building right here on Long Island."
Suffolk County Community College President Edward T. Bonahue, Ph.D. said, "Suffolk County Community College is committed both to providing cutting-edge workforce education in emerging industries like wind energy, and to finding innovative solutions that support all of Suffolk County's communities. As a founding partner in the development of the National Offshore Wind Training Center, the college is committed to training the wind energy workforce of the future."
Business Network for Offshore Wind CEO & President Liz Burdock said, "Offshore wind can be a game-changer in accelerating the nation's energy transition while creating good-paying jobs in all communities. Reaching our ambitious national and state goals, however, requires that we quickly stand up a skilled workforce of tens of thousands. New York has, and continues, to show leadership by aggressively working to build that diverse workforce and widely spread the benefits of offshore wind. The Network congratulates the state and its partners on another important step forward."
American Clean Power Interim CEO and Chief Advocacy Officer JC Sandberg said, "This is the tightest labor market we've seen in decades and fostering a robust and inclusive workforce today is paramount to the success of the growing domestic offshore wind industry. We applaud Governor Hochul, NYSERDA and their partners for continuing to create opportunities to develop our workforce in a state poised to lead in offshore wind. We're one step closer to building the future of the domestic offshore wind industry with a strong, well-trained talented workforce to support it."
Citizens Campaign for the Environment Executive Director Adrienne Esposito said, "Transitioning to renewable energy means transitioning our workforce to new job opportunities that serve the wind sector. This landmark facility, located in the heart of Long Island, will prepare our workforce for new career paths needed in manufacturing and technology to assist the renewable energy boom. Providing communities with education, training programs and job placement fills an essential need for not only our island's workforce but also will uplift youth in disadvantaged communities. Providing exciting career opportunities that pay sustainable wages in a growth industry is a terrific way to engage our youth and put them on a path of success. We congratulate Governor Hochul, the union members, Orsted and all those involved in making this a reality for Long Island."
NY Offshore Wind Alliance Director Fred Zalcman said, "The U.S. offshore wind industry is poised to add thousands of family sustaining jobs in New York State. Today, Governor Hochul brings visionary investment in training, ensuring that aspiring tradesmen and women gain the necessary skills to play a meaningful role in the emerging green and blue energy economies."
Renewable Energy Long Island Executive Director Gordian Raacke said, "Training our clean energy workforce here on Long Island and across the state is vital for New York's transition to a zero-carbon economy powered by renewable energy. I applaud Governor Hochul for her visionary leadership and resolve to make New York's economy carbon neutral while creating well-paying jobs and economic opportunities."
New York League of Conservation President Julie Tighe said, "By enacting--and swiftly implementing--smart and effective energy policy, Governor Hochul and NYSERDA have made New York a national leader in the burgeoning offshore wind industry. And now, with a national training center and a robust workforce development program on the horizon, New York is one step closer to moving off of dirty fossil fuels and toward a clean energy economy."
Collectively, today's announcements support the development of New York State's nation-leading offshore wind project pipeline, which currently has five projects in active development, the largest portfolio in the nation. This initial portfolio totals more than 4,300 megawatts, will power more than 2.4 million New York homes, and is expected to bring a combined economic impact of $12.1 billion to the state. The projects are also expected to create more than 6,800 jobs in project development, component manufacturing, installation, operations and maintenance. Achieving the State's 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035 goal will generate enough energy to power approximately 30 percent of New York State's electricity needs, equivalent to nearly 6 million homes, and spur approximately 10,000 jobs.
New York State's Nation-Leading Climate Plan
New York State's nation-leading climate agenda is the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy as New York State recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Enshrined into law through the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York is on a path to achieve its mandated goal of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy wide carbon neutrality. It builds on New York's unprecedented investments to ramp-up clean energy including over $35 billion in 120 large-scale renewable and transmission projects across the state, $6.8 billion to reduce buildings emissions, $1.8 billion to scale up solar, more than $1 billion for clean transportation initiatives, and over $1.6 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. Combined, these investments are supporting nearly 158,000 jobs in New York's clean energy sector in 2020, a 2,100 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011 and a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035. Under the Climate Act, New York will build on this progress and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, while ensuring that at least 35 percent with a goal of 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments are directed to disadvantaged communities, and advance progress towards the state's 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs of end-use energy savings.