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Alfred State Wins Offshore Wind Workforce Grant

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Towering above the Alfred State campus, a wind turbine is a reminder of how the college supplies skilled professionals for a growing workforce in green technology now aided by a $500,000 grant

From Alfred State College

            ALFRED, NY, May 30, 2023 – Governor Kathy Hochul announced that Alfred State College (ASC) is awarded a $500,000 grant to prepare students for the growing wind energy production industry. Governor Hochul and the Offshore Wind Training Institute (OWTI) are awarding a total of $4 million dollars for training initiatives at these State University of New York (SUNY) campuses: Alfred State College, Farmingdale State College, Hudson Valley Community College, Stony Brook University, Suffolk County Community College, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, and University at Buffalo.

The new initiative at Alfred State will expand the number of students who can enroll in two-year degrees for Welding Technology and Electrical Construction and Maintenance Electrician in the School of Applied Technology. More than a hundred students are often on a waitlist due to a lack of instruction and lab space while employers are eager to hire and must wait for more graduates.

Corporate business partners Ljungström ARVOS, Buffalo Solar, and Douglas Electric supported Alfred State’s expansion of workforce training. The new grant will allow ASC to increase lab space, acquire new equipment, and hire additional professionals to instruct students. The budget for the project tops $900,000 and is only possible with the OWTI grant.

Alfred State College President Dr. Steven Mauro said, “This grant for a half million dollars will enable ASC to make nearly 500 highly skilled electricians and welders available for the offshore wind workforce over a 24-month period, with hundreds graduating annually thereafter. We are grateful to the governor, chancellor, and OWTI for their recognition of Alfred State’s excellence in preparing graduates with the right skills in this high-demand job market. This alliance of SUNY schools is helping to provide the skilled professionals needed to build a new industry that has good-paying green technology jobs.”

Governor Kathy Hochul said, “Nation-leading programs like the Offshore Wind Training Institute are essential to ensuring that the State’s workforce is ready to support our ambitious renewable energy goals. SUNY, in partnership with New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), is equipping new and existing workers to participate in the green energy revolution here in New York for generations to come — helping us address the climate crisis and create a greener state for all.” 

SUNY Chancellor John B. King, Jr. said, “In partnership with Governor Hochul and NYSERDA, SUNY is proud to help New York State lead the way in clean-energy economic and workforce development—which is an engine of upward mobility for our students. This highly skilled, well-paid workforce will propel New York State’s clean-energy goals forward, while simultaneously positioning the state to lead the nation in renewable energy, including offshore wind. By developing programs to meet the demands of the offshore wind industry, SUNY can and will respond directly to employer needs to ensure our students are well-prepared for this emerging field. I congratulate all of the selected SUNY campuses and look forward to supporting their progress.”

The OWTI, along with NYSERDA, has built a network of academic, community, industry, and labor alliances that will prepare up to 25,000 New Yorkers for careers in renewable-energy fields. In working collaboratively to advance the development of wind-energy technology, the Institute expects to work synergistically with the National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium, located at Stony Brook and supported by NYSERDA, and the US Department of Energy and the Renewable Energy and Sustainability Center at Farmingdale.

Read the governor’s full press release.

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