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Does my Subject line Talk…talk…talk seem negative? Goes along with blah…blah…blah. In fact, talk can be cheap, but talk can also be productive. As was the case last week at the Offshore Wind Open House event with Doreen Harris, President and CEO of NYSERDA, held at the Wang Center at Stony Brook University and hosted by the Long Island Association. This large roundtable discussion (the first since Covid hit), moderated by Jessica Dealy Senior Policy Advisor, Offshore Wind at NYSERDA, covered a lot of ground; from project updates to supply chain and workforce issues, technology innovation to community involvement. If I had to pick an underlying theme, it would be the need for diversity and inclusion within our future OSW workforce and the companies applying to get into the supply chain. Our union friends and partners Roger Clayman, Matty Aracich and Mariah Dignan drove home the point that this is an opportunity for new skills and upskilling development in an industry that can provide a truly livable wage, with job security and all the other components that make for a good quality of life, providing regional economic benefits for all. Also present were reps from many of the developers, LI’s own Haugland Industries, OWTI, AERTC (click the links to unlock the acronyms), Suffolk County DOL, LIPA and the MRV Group. Hope I didn’t miss anyone.
Alas, diversity is a tough subject, especially when trying to proactively solve an age-old problem within the framework of an emerging industry. So, while the talk did not solve those long-standing problems, by simply coming up as a consistent theme within a roundtable that itself was hardly diverse, it helped drive the point home. I think I speak for many participants and audience members when I say that we need a group of people already doing the great work in DEI in other industries at the table, guiding the OSW players – governmental agencies, developers/tiered suppliers, trainers, etc. – on how to do the necessary community outreach, how to build out the training centers for certifications, and how to help pave the way for MWBEs to get their companies recognized by Tier 1 giants like Vestas, GE and Siemens Gamesa. It’s a heavy lift but now is the time, so let’s keep the heat on everyone to ensure we create a fair and balanced workforce and an equitable supply chain. Don’t stop talking; it will build the pathway to action.
And below, a little reminder from the National Renewable Energy Lab of how huge this opportunity really is.
GE that is, as in General Electric. Thanks to a large government grant, GE is researching how to use superconducting magnets to drive turbines more efficiently. According to the announcement, the new wind turbine generator research promises more power in a smaller, lighter package using coils of superconducting wire. Important because until now, increasing power generation has been the result of bigger turbines and bigger blades (Hailade-X). These mega-magnets may solve the size problem while generating a ton more electric. Read all about it HERE
This just in from Matty, aka Mr. Hydrogen. Scientists are looking at innovations in additive manufacturing that combines 3D printing with Green Hydrogen (estimated to be 12% of the energy mix by 2050). Head scratching? Read about it HERE
Join the Town of North Hempstead and Drive Electric LI for an event this Tuesday on the state of electric vehicles. Hear from a panel of owners and experts in a “Show N Tell”. Register HERE
It was a big day! Very proud to announce that our sister organization, the Institute for Workforce Advancement, after a 2-year Covid hiatus and a change in locations, restarted our Introduction to Composite Manufacturing program for students from Freeport High School at the Cradle of Aviation Museum. We are open for business for High Schools and Adults. Please contact me for details or visit us by clicking HERE.
Are you in it? The NYSERDA database that is. You can take a peek at the list by going to our new website and viewing the visual representation of the map and you can also register via our website or NYSERDA by clicking HERE
The IWA, a 501(c)3 registered nonprofit, is one of the northeast region’s leading advanced manufacturing workforce-development training organizations. We provide essential programming for incumbent and in-transition workers, and college and non-college bound students; from energy to aerospace, pharmaceuticals to building trades. The IWA partners with industry, government, and educational institutions to fill the employment pipeline for in-demand engineers, and installation and technical service workers, with a focus on hard-to-fill positions, and on low-income, high needs communities.
The IWA also works with national research and training institutions to ensure our programs consistently meet and exceed local and national skills requirements.