Partnering with New Yorkers across the state
Clean energy and tackling the climate crisis are about more than turning the electrons on the grid from ones that cause pollution to those that do not. That is the scientific challenge, to be sure. Equally important are the people and communities that make it happen, ensuring that all people from all walks of life have an opportunity to contribute, leaving nobody behind. For Sunrise Wind, an offshore wind farm developed by Ørsted and Eversource, that means walking alongside local communities and working in partnership across the state of New York.
Sunrise Wind will start sending power to the grid in 2025. But already, the project has invested $10 million towards founding the National Offshore Wind Training Center in Brentwood, Long Island, to help train and support workers of today and tomorrow in the clean energy industry. The program is led by local unions, Minority Millennials and Suffolk Community College and aims to help diversify the trades as they shift focus. Over time, it is expected that hundreds, if not thousands, of people will graduate from the training program – with the skills and certifications they need to create long-lasting careers while enabling large-scale adoption of offshore wind.
The project Sunrise Wind has also committed funding to the Multi-Craft Apprenticeship Preparation Program (M.A.P.P.), an Albany-area program to help train people of color and from low-income backgrounds to embark on unionized construction apprenticeships.
Targeted at workers between 18 and 40 years old, M.A.P.P. doesn’t just teach people how to perform a trade. It teaches them to be passionate about their skills and the impact they can have, says Executive Director Kereem Berry.
“We teach you to be proud of what you do. As a craftsperson, you want people to look at what you produced and say, who did that? That’s really good work.
“We also encourage our apprentices to develop a strong commitment to their community. To give back what M.A.P.P. gave to them.”
With the $300,000 committed to M.A.P.P. so far, the program will now be able to financially support between 30 and 40 participants over the next two training periods, equipping them with the tools they need to carve out a long and successful career in whichever trade they choose and are passionate about.
The offshore wind project’s collaborative efforts also extend beyond unions, with a $5 million commitment to Stony Brook University’s Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center. This is an investment in next generation clean energy research initiatives, ensuring offshore wind continues to innovate and improve in the decades to come.
“It’s exciting to be part of the renewable energy movement,” says Kereem. “There’s a whole lot of construction to be done, and it’s going to be union workers doing it. It’s years of employment, years of skill building.”
Sunrise Wind is part of a new offshore wind industry being built by New Yorkers, for New Yorkers. It is a product of partnerships that stretch across the state, creating opportunities far beyond the coast of Long Island, and enabling countless new careers that are not yet even thought of or dreamed about.
Find out more about Sunrise Wind and the benefits it is bringing to New Yorkers here.
This post is sponsored by Ørsted.