Last fall, the New York State Energy Research & Development (NYSERDA) released its “2018 New York Clean Energy Industry Report,” which found that over 151,000 workers were employed in the clean energy sector in the state. More than 5,600 jobs were added just in the last year and more are expected.
In fact, the state announced $27.5 million in new funding for workforce development and training initiatives to help prepare New Yorkers for the clean energy industry’s growing job opportunities.
With the growth of renewables — new data from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission suggests renewable capacity could be quadruple that of fossil fuels by 2021 — education and training are essential.
For example, in Georgia, Fort Benning Career Skills launched a new course last year to help transition soldiers and veterans to jobs in wind power and other renewable industries. (Side note: According to the American Wind Energy Association, veterans find jobs in the wind industry at a rate of 72% higher than the average U.S. market.)
With several U.S. offshore wind projects in the pipeline, the University of Delaware launched the first offshore wind skills training program in the country: the Offshore Wind Skills Academy.
According to the University, the Academy will focus on the skills necessary to build a domestic industry such as permitting, environmental assessments, and local suppliers and vessels.
In addition, a trio of Massachusetts-based institutions for higher education signed to Connect4Wind, with an aim of sharing resources and collaborating on the development of curriculum and programs centered on the offshore wind energy sector in the U.S.