SUNY Maritime receives $1.3 million for offshore wind training

Offshore Wind Turbine

(BRONX, N.Y.) – SUNY Maritime College has received two grants totaling $1.3 million to establish a Global Wind Organization (GWO) certified training center.

The first grant of $800,000 was awarded to the college by the U.S. Department of Labor Community Project Funding as a result of advocacy by U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. A second award of $500,000 was granted by New York State Energy Research and Development Authority through the New York Offshore Wind Training Institute. The college’s GWO Training Center will serve as a pipeline to train and certify workers for the offshore wind industry.

Offshore Wind Turbine
American Geophysical Union photo

Recognizing the growth in the offshore renewable energy sector, the college established its Center of Excellence for Offshore Energy to develop a clean energy workforce and encourage research in this growing industry.

“(The) maritime college prides itself on an adaptive curriculum and programs that respond to the maritime industry’s complex and evolving needs, including developing a clean offshore wind energy workforce. This essential funding will significantly support those efforts,” said school President Michael Alfultis.

According to the Offshore Wind Market Report 2022 Edition published by the U.S. Department of Energy, offshore wind projects “can access more energetic wind resources than those found on land, avoid high real estate costs that would be incurred as a result of siting projects on inhabited land, and create thousands of high-paying jobs.” All personnel (mariners, construction workers, welders, electricians, etc.) working on offshore wind platforms must complete the required GWO safety certifications.

Through the GWO Training Center established using this grant funding, SUNY Maritime will enable access to high-wage paying jobs. The college will also provide continuing education resources to existing employees of the offshore wind energy industry, trade unions and current students of the college.

The awards will be applied toward various purposes including curriculum development; offshore wind simulators and equipment; recruiting and training instructors; obtaining GWO certification; installing Hyflex classrooms to support remote training; job placement personnel; scholarships for individuals from underserved populations; and marketing to highlight opportunities in the offshore wind industry.

Upon the training center acquiring GWO certification, SUNY Maritime projects certifying 150 workers in the first year with an increase to 750 annually. In addition to GWO training, the college’s Center of Excellence for Offshore Energy will support the offshore wind industry through education, training, research and community outreach activities.

– SUNY Maritime College

By Rich Miller