Left to right: Kristen Tursi, Kristy Joseph, Deborah Thivierge, Jodi...

Left to right: Kristen Tursi, Kristy Joseph, Deborah Thivierge, Jodi Taggart and Chris Potter, from Elija Farms in Huntington received a grant from Suffolk County, one of more than 60 organizations that received such grants Wednesday.  Credit: Rick Kopstein

Suffolk County awarded nearly $3 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and an additional $3 million to help construct the National Offshore Wind Training Center in Brentwood, officials announced Wednesday.

County officials, led by County Executive Steve Bellone awarded the grants to six Long Island nonprofits and the training center, which is a partnership with the Nassau Suffolk Building and Construction Trades Council at the IBEW Local 25 in Hauppauge.

The grant funding is part of $30.1 million in grants to more than 60 nonprofit small business and cultural arts institutions, Bellone said. The funding was approved by the Suffolk County Legislature as part of federal American Rescue Plan funding.

The grants are designed to "support small businesses, strengthen local arts and cultural organizations, promote tourism, and enhance workforce development efforts," a county news release said.

Officials also announced Wednesday morning that the council reached a labor agreement to build the 15,000 square-foot Offshore Wind Training Center.

The training center at 350 Crooked Hill Road will be built on property that Suffolk County purchased from New York state last year for $1.46 million and includes a 22-year lease agreement. The center will also help provide career opportunities for workers on the autism spectrum or with developmental disabilities, Bellone said.

“We know that investing in the workforce to make sure that the workforce has the training, the skills necessary for success is critical for long term economic growth and competitiveness,” Bellone said. “Whether we're talking about the training necessary to ensure that our residents here are able to take advantage of the opportunities associated with the development of a brand-new industry, like offshore wind … we are fully leveraging their incredible abilities and talents and skills as well.”

The training center is being built with a $10 million grant from Sunrise Wind, including Orsted and Eversource, and is a partnership with the building trades council, the Long Island Federation of Labor and Suffolk County Community College, said Matt Aracich, president of the trades council.

“These are the instruments …[to make] sure that an economy works with people to give them a middle-class income, as well as making sure that they have the right to go in and retire with dignity and have health care,” he said. “That's the components and strength of everything we do with the building trades.”

Grants awarded to nonprofit organizations included:

  • $100,000 to the Pal-O-Mine Equestrian Center in Islandia for equestrian therapy.
  • $150,000 for The Suffolk Y JCC in Commack for a workforce development program for those with special needs.
  • $185,000 for the Winters Center for Autism in West Babylon for their workforce development downtown collaborative initiative.
  • $385,000 for the United Way of Long Island for a clean energy workforce training Academy for veterans and at-risk youth.
  • $1 million to GiGi’s Playhouse in Patchogue for children and adults with Down syndrome and other disabilities for career development.
  • $1 million to ELIJA Farm in Huntington to assist autistic and developmentally disabled children and adults training and agriculture skills on a working farm.
People on Long Island share their thoughts on President Joe Biden's decision to drop out of the 2024 election and the possibility of Vice President Kamala Harris becoming the Democratic nominee. Credit: Newsday/Kendall Rodriguez; Jeff Bachner; File Footage

'I think it's the best for the country' People on Long Island share their thoughts on President Joe Biden's decision to drop out of the 2024 election and the possibility of Vice President Kamala Harris becoming the Democratic nominee.

People on Long Island share their thoughts on President Joe Biden's decision to drop out of the 2024 election and the possibility of Vice President Kamala Harris becoming the Democratic nominee. Credit: Newsday/Kendall Rodriguez; Jeff Bachner; File Footage

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