Offshore wind is poised to be the next renewable energy industry to establish roots in New York and drive increasing demand for clean energy workers in the State. With nearly 164,000 New Yorkers already working in the clean energy industry, the State is expected to create more than 10,000 jobs through its commitment to developing 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind energy. Please find a list of 117 offshore wind occupation titles [XLS].
New York’s pioneering workforce already possesses most of the skills necessary to attract offshore wind manufacturers and developers. However, the scale and offshore location of the technology necessitates industry-specific training. NYSERDA is coordinating with industry experts, labor organizations, training programs, academic institutions, and other state agencies to ensure that both new and existing workers will be prepared to participate in this industry.
Paired with private investments, New York has unlocked more than $644 million in resilient port facilities and manufacturing, helping to jumpstart project development and drive job growth. In 2022, New York will invest up to an additional $500 million in ports, manufacturing, and supply chain infrastructure needed to advance its offshore wind industry, leveraging private capital to deliver more than $2 billion in economic activity while creating more than 2,000 good-paying green jobs. This investment brings the State’s public commitments to a nation-leading $700 million and will ensure that New York has the strongest offshore wind supply chain hub for other projects up and down the east coast. Together with diverse private, federal, and State funding, as well as diverse partnerships that span the industry from academia, trade, environmental justice and community partnerships, New York is poised to deliver more than $77 million in offshore wind workforce training investments in the coming years.
For studies about the macroeconomic impacts and job creation potential of the offshore wind industry, see our Understanding Benefits and Impacts webpage.
Training Opportunities in Offshore Wind
NEW: Check out New York State’s Offshore Wind Training website dedicated to helping individuals find training in offshore wind and advance their careers.
Interested in learning more about jobs within the offshore wind space? Click through the interactive career pathways tool to learn the average tasks and salaries of the most common offshore wind jobs. Looking for training near you, but unsure where to start? Take a dive into the offshore wind training map to find out what training exists near you, and ways to contact programs for enrollment.
New York is working diligently to develop the critical offshore wind training infrastructure to support a growing U.S. offshore wind industry. The establishment of a Jobs and Supply Chain Technical Working Group (JSC-TWG) helps scope job and industry needs, develop the research and training framework for job training, and begins identifying new credentials and academic degree programs that will prepare New Yorkers, including low-income and those from Disadvantaged Communities or priority populations, for these emerging high-paying jobs.
These efforts will encourage collaboration on key research initiatives and will be informed by industry experts to ensure all New Yorkers can benefit early from public training programs and educational campaigns that increase awareness about the benefits of offshore wind and where and when they can best participate in this exciting new industry.
New York Offshore Wind Training Institute (OWTI)In 2020 the $20 million OWTI was launched in collaboration with SUNY’s Farmingdale State College and Stony Brook University and NYSERDA, the largest public investment in offshore wind workforce development by any state in the U.S. The training institute aims to advance 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 certify and train 2,500 New York workers beginning this year to support both offshore and onshore renewable energy projects.
Live Now: New Opportunity for Offshore Wind Workforce Training Funding – Utilizing $9 million of the OWTI funding, NYSERDA is seeking proposals for training initiatives focused on addressing projected offshore wind (OSW) workforce gaps and preparing workers for high growth jobs. Head to our Clean Energy Workforce Development and Training Page for more information.
NYSERDA OWTI Award Recipients:
NYSERDA issued its first round of competitive awards under the State’s $20 million OWTI investment funds in 2021. The first two winning proposals received a combined $569,618 to support early training and skills development for disadvantaged 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.
In late 2023, Governor Hochul announced that $2.3 million in funding through the Offshore Wind Training Institute was awarded to two recipients: the New York City Union Iron Workers and the Albany-Schoharie-Schenectady-Saratoga Board of Cooperative Educational Services (Capital Region BOCES). These awards leverage both recipients’ established workforce development expertise, supporting new skills training programs needed to prepare hundreds of workers for skilled jobs in the offshore wind industry.
Here are the full details on NYSERDA awarded OWTI funding recipients:
- Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, NY (HVCC)
To help build a strong pipeline for the Capital Region's offshore wind initiative, HVCC recently began offering a two-year associate degree in welding and fabrication and will focus student recruitment efforts on priority populations in urban and rural disadvantaged communities, providing full or partial scholarships to participants. Foundational welding skills training will be provided by the Capital Region Educational Opportunity Center, a division of HVCC with additional non-credit training and certifications will be provided at the college’s main campus. The college will also partner with regional manufacturers building turbine components to provide a skilled workforce pipeline of welders and fabricators, aiming to train 75 individuals, including 65 from priority populations and disadvantaged communities.
- LaGuardia Community College in Queens, NY (LAGCC)
LAGCC is partnering with Siemens Gamesa to build an inclusive offshore wind workforce that ensures a robust local talent pipeline for the construction, repair, and maintenance of offshore wind facilities in the New York City metro area. The college will convene employers to detail the skill gaps for both new entrants to the workforce and incumbent workers in the construction trades to help inform and develop a best-in-class custom curriculum. A total of fifty low-income individuals from the Brooklyn-Queens waterfront will be trained to work as offshore wind technicians.
- Capital Region BOCES
The Capital Region BOCES were awarded $1,256,900 to support training of 90 workers across three programs - Electrical, Welding, and Building Trades – to address key workforce gaps identified in collaboration with offshore wind industry employers in the Capital Region. Technical trainings specific to the offshore wind industry will target adult learners from disadvantaged or environmental justice communities and priority populations, including veterans, formerly incarcerated persons, single parents, and English Language Learners. Leveraging its experience in developing and implementing career programming that meets the needs of adult learners from various backgrounds and experiences, BOCES will recruit adults who are underemployed and/or seeking career changes and help them overcome barriers to completing its job training program.
- The New York City Union Iron Workers Locals 40 and 361 (Iron Workers)
The Iron Workers were awarded $1,061,454 to train 115 New York City (NYC) iron workers on the safety requirements and skills needed to construct offshore wind projects. Funding will support the purchase of training equipment and licenses, and the training needed to certify five NYC Iron Workers as Global Wind Organisation (GWO) safety standards instructors. Those five certified instructors will then train approximately 10 cohorts of 11 members or apprentices during this grant period. The Iron workers will formally integrate these new GWO trainings with existing continuing education, apprenticeship training, and pre-apprenticeship offerings. The program will be operated by the Iron Worker’s Joint Apprenticeship Committee (JAC). The JAC of Iron Workers Locals 40 and 361 is a full-service training facility in Astoria, NY that administers the apprenticeship program for structural Iron Workers and Riggers in New York City and surrounding counties.
- To see a list of SUNY awarded OWTI entities, please visit https://owti.org/funded-projects/
National Offshore Wind Training Center (NOWTC)The developers of New York’s Sunrise Wind project have invested $10 million in a National Offshore Wind Training Center in Brentwood on Long Island. The NOWTC will be housed within 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 Suffolk County was created 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.
Center of Excellence for Offshore Energy at SUNY Maritime CollegeLaunched with a grant from New York State, the Center is working to develop classroom and online training programs. The Center hosted its first Offshore Wind Power Conference in September 2019, which provided an overview of Ocean Wind Power generation technology while focusing on the development of support infrastructure needed to install and sustain wind power generation projects in our region. The Center’s objectives include developing in-class/online courses and programs for offshore renewable energy to include credit/non-credit courses leading to certificates and degrees, fostering Maritime College curriculum change and innovation in the area of offshore renewable energy: production, installation, and maintenance, and providing collaborative research opportunities for faculty and students.
New York State and National Offshore Wind Workforce Reports
NYSERDA has completed a significant amount of offshore wind research. Please follow the links below for recent, relevant reports.
2023 New York State Offshore Wind Skills Analysis [PDF] - This report is designed to build on past New York State analyses by answering several follow-on questions emerging from industry stakeholders that are foundational to developing a New York State offshore wind workforce. This report helps inform strategic policy, funding, and programmatic decisions being considered by New York State officials. The questions answered are:
- What are the occupational skill needs for New York State’s offshore wind workforce?
- What additional credentials and certifications will be required for future workers to enter this sector? Is New York State ready to meet these needs?
How can the future supply of New York State workers who may want to transition into offshore wind—such as those in traditional fossil fuel occupations, workers in adjacent industries with transferable skills, priority workers from disadvantaged communities, or future workers—be best prepared to pursue these occupations?
2022 New York State Offshore Wind Workforce Gap Analysis [PDF] - In developing a comprehensive workforce development plan and training ecosystem, it is imperative for New York State to first understand the overall supply and demand for offshore wind jobs. This report, by BW Research Partnership on behalf of NYSERDA, identifies occupational supply gaps and presents an overview of key offshore wind energy-specific training programs in the State. The analysis projects employment growth in New York's offshore wind industry, illustrates job types and distribution across the state to strengthen the Offshore Wind Training Institute's (OWTI) understanding of workforce impacts on offshore wind development in New York. These are critical considerations for the State to achieve its ambitious goal of 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind energy. This document is a valuable resource for planners, lawmakers, educational institutions, and other workforce development organizations seeking to increase their understanding of what types of jobs will be required to grow and develop our local offshore wind supply chain.
New York State's Climate Action Council's Scoping Plan which outlines recommended policies and actions to help meet the goals and requirements of the nation-leading Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act).
NYSERDA's 2021 New York Clean Energy Industry Report - An in-depth review of important sector-specific job patterns and trends within the State. The 2021 report provides a deep dive into offshore wind, alternative transportation, and workforce development for priority populations — all of which are essential for future job growth and creating a more diverse and equitable workforce.
The Climate Justice Working Group’s 2021 Disadvantaged Communities Barriers and Opportunities Report , which analyzes why some communities are disproportionately impacted by climate change and air pollution and have unequal access to clean energy.
The Just Transition Working Group 2021 Jobs Study - The Jobs Study and supporting research were done on behalf of the Just Transition Working Group (JTWG) as part of the New York State Climate Action Council. The report was commissioned to estimate the number of jobs created to counter climate change, including but not be limited to the energy sector, building sector, and working lands sector, to examine the projection of the inventory of jobs needed and skills and training required to meet the demand of jobs to counter climate change as well as the workforce disruption due to community transitions from a low carbon economy.
The Workforce Opportunity for Offshore Wind (Master Plan 1.0) (NYSERDA) commissioned this 2017 analysis to evaluate new workforce opportunities in New York associated with large-scale development of offshore wind electricity generation. This analysis accounts for offshore wind development scenarios that could be supported by policies in New York, which had, at the time, committed to a goal of installing 2.4 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind by 2030. The State has since increased its offshore wind goal to 9 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind by 2035.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) published a 2022 National Offshore Wind Workforce Assessment that examines the significant job opportunities created by the Biden administration’s goal of 30 GW by 2030.
- Offshore Wind + Job Expos
- WINDExchange Workforce Training and Education
- Global Wind Organization Safety Training
- Workforce Development Institute’s Interactive Map of Training Opportunities
Job Opportunities in Offshore Wind
NYSERDA manages an Offshore Wind Supply Chain Database to increase the visibility of New York businesses interested in participating in the offshore wind supply chain. Additionally, project developers and industry associations maintain company registries and job boards to recruit New Yorkers for careers in offshore wind.