New York college develops offshore wind power programs with federal funding

Farmingdale State College (FSC) in Farmingdale, New York, received nearly $900,000 for three proposals to boost education as part of Gov. Kathy Hochul’s announcement of $4 million in grants through Offshore Wind and training in offshore wind technology at the School Training Institute (OWTI). The FSC awards represent three out of ten proposals funded by university centers, technical colleges and community colleges across the SUNY system.

FSC is a center for research, development, training and education in wind technology and sustainable energy and has certificate and microcredential programs in wind energy technology. The College is also a founding member of the OWTI.

“As a partner of the Offshore Wind Technology Institute, we share a common goal of establishing offshore wind energy as an integral part of the energy and economic landscape on Long Island and throughout New York State,” said John S. Nader, President of the FSC. “We are proud of our faculty across the SUNY system and here at FSC working on solutions to today’s important environmental and societal challenges.”

Submissions were accepted from applicants addressing one or more priority areas of focus, including expanding existing SUNY curricula related to offshore wind energy; Responding to rapid, targeted training needs; removing barriers to entry; long-term contact with young students; community-led awareness efforts; and partnerships with related or adjacent sectors. Proposals received additional consideration by focusing on equity needs, transition of workers from other sectors, skills and direct partnerships with the offshore wind industry.

“In partnership with Gov. Hochul and NYSERDA, SUNY is proud to help New York State lead the way in clean energy economic and workforce development—which is a driver of our students’ advancement,” said John B. King, Jr., SUNY Chancellor. “This highly skilled, well-paid workforce will advance New York State’s clean energy goals while enabling the state to be a national leader in renewable energy, including offshore wind. By developing programs that meet the needs of the offshore wind industry, SUNY can and will respond directly to employers’ needs to ensure our students are well prepared for this burgeoning field. I congratulate all selected SUNY locations and look forward to supporting their progress.”

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The first funded proposal is FSC Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE): Online Training Workshops for MWBEs and Small Startups in the Offshore Wind Industry ($258.5,000). This is a series of short, non-credit workshops that provide participants with educational opportunities without the need to be away from their company for long periods of time, and which allows them to immediately apply the lessons learned in their companies. The workshops provide MWBEs and small startups with flexible and accessible training that is free to eligible learners.

Next is FSC Workforce Development: Offshore Wind Workforce Microcredential ($500,000). A new microcredential program offers new courses and training focused on offshore wind technology, to be completed in two semesters. The training component is intended to address short-term or immediate needs in the offshore wind industry and will focus on monitoring the structural integrity of wind turbine blades and diagnosing micro-cracks.

The last program is FSC Wind Turbine: Wind Turbine Technician Certificate Global Wind Organization (GWO) Training ($132,000). GWO offers personal safety training that applies mechanical and electrical principles to wind turbine operation and maintenance using training equipment. Complementing the academic qualification with the GWO training offers two cohorts of participants the opportunity to explore the physical aspects of the profession and better prepares graduates for the world of work. This training is conducted in cooperation with the SUNY Maritime College.

News report from Farmingdale State College

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