Sunrise Wind Trains New York Workers for Wind Energy Construction Careers

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Sunrise Wind, in a strategic partnership with the Center for Economic Growth, says it is committing $300,000 to recruit and train workers in Albany’s South End neighborhood for union construction careers critical to New York’s clean energy transition.

Sunrise Wind is a joint-venture offshore wind project between Ørsted and Eversource. This announcement demonstrates Ørsted and Eversource’s commitment to supporting job creation in disadvantaged communities, a key tenant of New York state’s nation-leading Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.

The funding comes from the $1 million Upper Hudson Workforce Development Fund created by the Sunrise Wind project and will be used to fund the Multi-Craft Apprenticeship Preparation Program (M.A.P.P.), a pre-apprenticeship program that recruits and trains workers for unionized construction apprenticeships. M.A.P.P. aims to recruit low-income and workers of color from the Capital Region, providing a path to family-sustaining careers while bringing more diversity to the building trades. The new funding will cover pay, training and emergency financial needs for program participants, who will enroll over the course of 2022 and 2023. With this support, 15-20 participants will enroll in 2022 and another 15-20 in 2023.

“The M.A.P.P. apprenticeship program will provide new opportunities for underserved New Yorkers to not only access good-paying union jobs, but also to make a difference in their environment,” says Lieutenant Gov. Antonio Delgado. “Offshore wind is powering our future, helping us reach our clean energy goals and providing stable careers for those who have been underrepresented in the workforce.”

In close partnership with the Greater Capital Region Building & Construction Trades Council, M.A.P.P. offers qualified, interested candidates an opportunity to gain training and experience that will enable them to successfully navigate a union construction apprenticeship program. This program offers structured work- and classroom-based learning that can propel apprentices into long, stable careers with family-sustaining wages and benefits. M.A.P.P. was founded in Rochester, N.Y. and recently began operations in Albany’s South End neighborhood.

“This announcement is a critical milestone in developing our growing New York State offshore wind workforce and another key step in ensuring that building our green economy means delivering benefits to communities that have been historically left behind,” comments Doreen M. Harris, president and CEO of NYSERDA. “This investment in the Capital Region is another invaluable contribution from Ørsted and Eversource and will help to build a pipeline of talent for the family-sustaining jobs that will allow our clean energy economy to thrive.”

After being accepted to the program, participants will first work in paid positions under skilled supervision to rehabilitate homes and other community sites to develop their trade skills before enrolling in M.A.P.P. for additional skilled classroom-based education. After graduating, participants are offered “direct entry,” a New York State Department of Labor facilitated pathway to sought-after union apprenticeship programs.

“Ørsted is investing in a domestic supply chain and workforce development to accelerate the offshore wind industry in the United States,” comments Jennifer Garvey, head of New York market strategy at Ørsted. “Sunrise Wind will create hundreds of opportunities for union tradespeople in New York, and we’re proud to partner with organizations like CEG, M.A.P.P. and the Greater Capital Region Building & Construction Trades Council to ensure that more workers have access to the training and career pathways needed to contribute to this new clean energy industry while earning a living wage.”

Sunrise Wind will require hundreds of skilled workers to build and install the project, including the construction of advanced foundation components and other work at the Port of Coeymans. The project will enter negotiations with New York State contractors and trade labor organizations on a project labor agreement to cover construction activities for Sunrise Wind and is committed to paying prevailing wages.

“Ensuring that our region’s workers are able to benefit from the well-paying, union jobs that Sunrise Wind will create is a critical part of our mission,” says Andrea Bonilla, senior outreach specialist for offshore wind at Eversource Energy. “We are thrilled to announce that as part of that effort, we will provide hundreds of thousands of dollars to support the recruitment and training of more union construction workers in New York’s Capital Region. These workers will play a pivotal role in the transition to a new, clean energy economy as we continue to deliver on our promise to expand economic opportunity throughout the state.”

The announcement is one of many commitments already being recognized for New York workers and businesses as part of the Sunrise Wind project. Last year, Ørsted and Eversource signed an $86 million supply chain contract with Riggs Distler & Company, Inc. to construct advanced foundation components for wind turbines at the Port of Coeymans, and the project will offer business development and employment opportunities from Western New York to the East End of Long Island.

“Offshore wind is creating a new industry in the Capital Region. Ørsted and Eversource are playing a major role not only in launching this industry here, but also, through their funding for the Multi-Craft Apprenticeship Preparation Program, they are creating a more inclusive and skilled workforce,” states Katie Newcombe, CEG’s CEO. “CEG is proud to partner with Ørsted and Eversource in administering the funding for the Upper Hudson Workforce Fund and its first award to M.A.P.P.”

Sunrise Wind will be one of the largest U.S. offshore wind farms and located more than 30 miles east of Montauk Point, interconnecting to the grid in Brookhaven, N.Y. The 924 MW project will generate enough clean energy to power nearly 600,000 New York homes and is expected to be operational in 2025.

“Our training works because of partners like Ørsted and Eversource. These funds will ensure that aspiring construction workers in the Capital Region can provide for themselves and their families while they prepare to join union apprenticeship programs,” speaks Kereem Berry, executive director of M.A.P.P., Inc. “And at the same time, their prioritizing disadvantaged communities in the construction of wind turbine components will give M. A. P. P. participants strong footholds from which to launch long careers in the union construction industry.”

Read the full release, including more quotes by elected officials here.

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