Vacant land in Brentwood will soon be converted into the region's first stand-alone offshore wind training center, geared to high school and college-age New Yorkers entering the wind farm workforce, county and state officials announced Thursday.
The announcement comes more than a month after Suffolk County purchased the state-owned parcel at 350 Crooked Hill Rd. for $1.46 million.
The National Offshore Wind Training Center, funded through a $10 million grant from offshore wind developers Orsted and Eversource and their Sunrise Wind project, would have a 22-year license agreement with Suffolk. The center will provide offshore wind safety training and certifications,
Gov. Kathy Hochul said the center will help the state move toward its goal of developing 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035.
"When we open next October the training center will be housed in the future Brentwood community center," Hochul said during the announcement at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood. "It'll be a one-stop shop for training, development and education in Brentwood."
The center, which will collaborate with the college, is expected to serve as a vital training spot for Sunrise Wind and other wind-farm developers that will boost employment in Brentwood and throughout the region, officials said.
"This is going to help lift people all across our island and help train people for the jobs of the future," said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.
Roger Clayman, former executive director for the Long Island Federation of Labor and one of three directors of the National Offshore Wind Training Center, said the facility could eventually expand into training for manufacturing and maintenance operations for farms, including composite materials work for turbine blades.
The project "will transform this big piece of property … into a center where a lot of positive things will happen for young people as they look forward to a constructive way to gain lasting careers," Clayman said. "And many of those careers will be in offshore wind."
Hochul on Thursday also launched a $9 million solicitation, through the state’s Offshore Wind Training Institute, seeking proposals for expanded offshore wind workforce development and training initiatives, with a preference to projects that serve individuals from underserved communities. Development and implementation of selected programs is expected to be completed within 18 to 24 months.