Gov. Hochul announces SUNY Maritime’s new offshore wind safety training program

Governor Hochul announced SUNY Maritime’s new offshore wind basic safety training program on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024.
File photo

A Bronx college is planning to debut a new training program geared toward future environmental efficiency which also aims grow industry and employment opportunities across the state.

SUNY Maritime will begin offering a new offshore wind basic safety training program for its students, on Monday, Feb. 5. Gov. Kathy Hochul made the announcement of the new training program on Thursday, Feb. 1.

The SUNY Maritime training program, which is a partnership between the college and RelyOn Nutec, a Louisiana-based global business, is also certified by nonprofit Global Wind Organisation. According to the company’s Linkedin, RelyOn Nutec is the only global provider of safety, skills, drilling, emergency response and crisis management training for the offshore, maritime and wind industry.

“SUNY Maritime training program will ensure anyone interested in a career to grow our green economy can gain the knowledge and skills,” Hochul said.

Hochul added that New York state is leading the nation in the transition to clean energy, which includes training the workforce of the future to work on offshore wind, for decades to come.

According to Hochul’s office, SUNY Maritime is only one of two Maritime academies in the country to offer this training.

“I’m proud that New York is leading the nation when it comes to projects that are good for workers, as well as the planet and the economy,” said U.S. Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. “The federal funding my office secured for this program will help our workforce for offshore wind jobs and help New York and the country meet our renewable energy goals.”

Ocasio-Cortez added that in less than 15 years, New York state is expected to have nearly 5,000 new jobs in the offshore wind industry, with SUNY Maritime currently training those future workers.

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, another supporter of SUNY Maritime’s new offshore wind basic safety training program, pictured here from a SUNY Maritime press conference from August of 2021.File photo

“We are thrilled offer a training program such as this,” said SUNY Maritime president Michael Alfultis. “Offshore wind power has been growing on a steady trajectory over the last decade and (SUNY) Maritime can be an asset in training individuals for this thriving Maritime industry.”

The training program was also made possible thanks in part to a $500,000 grant allocation from the Offshore Wind Training Institute (OWTI) last year, after the $20 million OWTI was launched in 2020, in collaboration with SUNY’s Farmingdale State and Stony Brook University, along with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

The OWTI, which will advance offshore wind training programs and the educational infrastructure need to establish a skilled workforce, will certify and train 2,500 future New York workers to support both offshore and onshore renewable energy projects.

As a result, this training program will help support the emerging national offshore wind industry in the future.

“Empowering our workforce with essential safety training is not just a commitment to their well-being, but a cornerstone of building a sustainable future,” said state Sen. Nathalia Fernandez. “By offering (this) training, SUNY Maritime is not only preparing individuals for success but also safeguarding our journey towards a cleaner, greener tomorrow.”

SUNY Maritime, which was established more than 150 year ago, is the first of seven maritime academic academies in the country, educating students for the global maritime transportation industry, shipping business, engineering, energy, facilities management, finances, the armed forces and public service.

Last month, SUNY Maritime held its winter ship training program, where 200 SUNY Maritime students took a two-and-a-half week round trip to Puerto Rico on the Empire State VII ship.

Reach Steven Goodstein at [email protected] or (718) 260–8326. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes