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Silos will cause us to fail. Coordination between local and state government agencies, non-profits, industry, and unions, hailing from the North Country to Westchester, NYC to Montauk, will be key to our successfully retaining as much of the OSW pie for New York and the northeast as we can. Neighboring states down south have already started this by creating the 3 state Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Regional Transformative Partnership for Offshore Wind Energy Resources (SMART-POWER), which provides a framework for Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina to cooperatively promote, develop, and expand offshore wind energy and the accompanying industry supply chain and workforce. Their MOU is an interesting document and can be read HERE. Will it work? Too soon to tell, but frameworks for cooperation, though non-binding, are a good start.
Focus areas beyond supply chain are also important. Product innovation and research, renewable energy technologies are both being supported by large grants via the National Science Foundation, Departments of Energy and Defense and others. As an advocacy organization, I am happy to discuss any of this with interested parties. If I cannot provide the information you need, I likely can connect you with those who can. Please, take advantage of me!
Lastly, by way of visual story telling… The top left image is a shot from the recent Institute for Advanced Composite Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI), (and our strategic partner for all things composites) membership meeting, where partnerships to build national working groups are created to pursue next generation wind blade technologies, expanding the use of carbon fiber in turbine installations and so much more. They are also a pipeline to larger workforce initiatives in advanced manufacturing. To the right, keeping it real local with our friends at Roman Stone prefab concrete manufacturing (President Tom Montalbine was a panelist at last month’s Tilles Center conference), a company gearing up for entry into the OSW supply chain, as mysterious as it still is. Keep it up Tom.
Talk about reach, here’s your opportunity to cross “the pond” and hear from key government and business leaders from the United States, France, and Europe to highlight real-world technology-driven solutions to tackle the climate change crisis and showcase how green energy and technologies will help shape the future. Not to worry, you can do it virtually. Register for the Power of Green Energy HERE
Block out this Wednesday and Friday for New York State Offshore Wind Supply Chain and Workforce Forum. Great agenda that includes some of our favorites like Matthew Aracich, Jenn Garvey, Peter Lion, Marj Issapour , Nse Ensema, Grant Van Wyngardeen, and many more. Info HERE
I was honored to sit on a virtual panel discussion last week as part of the NYATEP/NYSEDC Virtual Fall Conference. I was tapped to participate in the Proven Scalable Approaches to Meet Employees Workforce Needs. Loads of other workforce topics were covered by lots of smart people. Those interested can hear the replay by clicking HERE and using access code 21ixJ5!^
Pictured above, wind blades in action. Those blades, although made from composites, still require lots of maintenance by highly skilled workers. As do the connection points. This is why we are building an offshore wind training center on Long Island. Unfortunately for Vattenfall’s Ormonde Offshore Wind Farm off the north-west coast of England, things didn’t go so well recently, and those blades went splashing into the sea. Read about it HERE
A surprise to those of us on the outside, Equinor announced that their turbine provider for the Empire Wind project will be Danish company Vestas (also a participant in last month’s conference). GE was the assumed provider. The other big Equinor news was that Empire Wind 1 has submitted a request to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to extend the June 2025 deadline for electric production by a year and a half, to December 14, 2026. Reasons cited were delays in government approvals and overall project complexity. Personally, I feel a few delays are inevitable and somewhat desirable as we figure out how to get the supply chain and workforce sorted out.
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.