By the University at Buffalo
The University at Buffalo Center for Industrial Effectiveness (UB TCIE) has secured a $500,000 grant from the New York State Offshore Wind Training Institute (OWTI) to accelerate the development of New York's offshore wind workforce.
The project, titled “Leveraging the Power of SUNY to Achieve NY's Offshore Wind Energy Goals,” seeks to increase awareness of offshore wind careers among New Yorkers by leveraging existing resources and networks.
It will provide information and opportunities to displaced workers and those who have been historically underrepresented in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers.
“We are grateful to SUNY and the OWTI for this award to help grow New York state’s offshore wind industry. We look forward to working with the OWTI and our project partners at Alfred State College, Farmingdale State College, Stony Brook University, Goodwill of Western New York and Northland Workforce Training Center to connect Western New Yorkers with training that leads to good-paying jobs in offshore wind,” said Timothy Leyh, UB TCIE executive director.
To accomplish these goals, the project will begin with a listening tour of the Western New York’s offshore wind workforce development ecosystem to gather data from industry, community-based organizations and training institutions. This information will be used to update an existing online course, “Renewable Energy: Fundamentals and Job Opportunities,” which teaches foundational concepts related to a range of renewable energy careers and culminates with an exploratory project where learners chart the course to their ideal occupation in clean energy.
Jennifer Flagg, project director at UB TCIE, said, “We are excited to expand and update the renewable energy course’s wind energy content to showcase recent offshore wind developments across the state, and highlight programs that impart the skills and knowledge required to excel in this high-growth industry.”
Beginning in 2024, project leaders will host lunch and learn events at venues across Western New York, inviting interested parties to speak with industry representatives and learn about SUNY’s many renewable energy professional education and degree programs, including the renewable energy course. Interested parties are encouraged to visit the SUNY Clean Energy Consortium webpage, where project updates will be posted regularly.
Overall, this project has the potential to create significant economic opportunities and support the growth of a sustainable offshore wind industry in New York, project leaders say, adding that by leveraging existing resources and networks and partnering with key stakeholders, UB TCIE and OWTI are well-positioned to help the state achieve its climate goals.
The Offshore Wind Training Institute is administered by Farmingdale State College and Stony Brook University in partnership with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. The institute will award approximately $8 million in funding to SUNY and SUNY-affiliated institutions to create, expand or improve SUNY-based programs that can demonstrably prepare students to pursue careers in the offshore wind industry, as well as create programs that assist working professionals seeking to transition into the offshore wind sector.
About UB TCIE
As an industry outreach arm for the UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, UB TCIE is a professional and continuing education powerhouse focused on workforce development and operational excellence. An active contributor in clean tech workforce development, UB TCIE works with industry partners to assess workforce needs, develop and deliver seated, remote, and blended courses, and measure program impact to facilitate continuous improvement.