Central Brooklyn Economic Development Corporation (CBEDC) Launches Workforce Development Program for New York’s Offshore Wind Industry In partnership with Citizens Philanthropic Foundation and LISC NY


● Citizens Philanthropic Foundation commits $600,000 over two years to fund career pathways for Brownsville youth to enter the offshore wind industry.

 Jointly developed by the Central Brooklyn Economic Development Corps and National Wind Service, with support from LISC NY, the program provides safety certification, hands-on training, paid internships, and swimming lessons.

 Upon completion of the training program, participants will be prepared for jobs leading to average salaries between $75,000 – $120,000 in various offshore wind industry careers.


April 26, 2024—Brooklyn, New York — Citizens announced a $600,000 two-year grant through the Citizens Philanthropic Foundation to help launch the Brooklyn Youth Offshore Wind Training Program, an innovative green job workforce development program providing marginalized Brooklyn youth with training and support to pursue careers in the emerging offshore wind industry.


Led by the Central Brooklyn Economic Development Corp (CBEDC) in partnership with the National Wind Service Corp. (NWS) and Local Initiatives Support Corporation New York (LISC NY) with funding from Citizens Philanthropic Foundation, the Brooklyn Youth Offshore Wind Industry Training Program will enable 72 traditionally underserved Brownsville youth, aged 15-24, to gain certification and hands-on experience that will help them build America’s green energy future and catapult them to well-paying middle-class careers.

 Photo Credit: Brian Bills

“This program reflects Citizens’ continued commitment to drive positive climate impact, build the workforce of the future, and foster the economic vitality of New York neighborhoods,” said Rachel Mattes Greenberg, Head of Sustainability at Citizens. “Each community has unique workforce challenges and opportunities. We’re excited to partner with LISC and CBEDC to launch this one-of-a-kind program to address the clean energy labor needs of tomorrow and ensure that Brownsville youth have access to careers that will lead to greater economic prosperity for the local community.”


CBEDC and NWS will administer the program: developing the curriculum, hiring instructors, and providing counselors and other support services to students. The program will start with a 15-week after-school preparatory program before students advance into an intensive 7-week paid summer internship. During the summer internship, participants will receive hands-on experience with various offshore wind industry occupations including project management, construction, technician-related jobs, computer numerical control machinists, welders, and wind turbine technicians. The summer program will also include swimming lessons, which are crucial as these wind farms are in the open ocean, and many BIPOC youth do not have access to pools or swim lessons.


Leading offshore wind, infrastructure, and compliance companies, including Equinor, who is developing the Empire Wind farming project off the coast of Brooklyn, as well as Helberg Electrical Supply, JetExMechanical, Genesus Construction Training Center, and LocalContent.com, have committed to working closely with program participants to prepare them for full-time employment pathways within the offshore wind industry. Upon completion of the training program, participants will be prepared for jobs leading to average salaries between $75,000 – $120,000 in various offshore wind industry careers.


“We want the local community to have a seat at the table and be the first in the door,” said La’Shawn Allen-Muhammad, the Executive Director of CBEDC. “Usually, minority communities only get access to new industries after the fact. The goal of this program is to address the opportunity gap and give these young people the experience and training they need so they’re prepared for good-paying careers in New York City’s burgeoning offshore wind industry.”


“New York State is a leader in wind-energy development, and we’re proud to work with our partners to build this program in the heart of Brownsville where we can help ensure that youth in this underserved community are getting the tools they need to take part in this fast-growing industry,” said Valerie White, Senior Executive Director, LISC NY. “Through training and access to jobs upon completion, we’re helping to provide the up-and-coming generation with skills to build a career and the generational wealth that can come with it as we work to close the racial wealth gap and unleash the true power of our economy.”


The Brooklyn Youth Offshore Wind Industry Training Program is actively recruiting students and working closely with local schools to spread awareness and identify potential participants. The program will kick off in May 2024. Link to apply.


This program is another proof point of Citizens’ commitment to driving positive climate impact. Last fall,Citizens announced a $50 billion Sustainable Finance Target including $5 billion in green financing, by 2030. The company also announced that it will engage corporate clients in high-emitting sectors on climate-related topics. For more information on this and the company’s Sustainability and Impact strategy, please click here


About Citizens Financial Group, Inc. 

Citizens Financial Group, Inc. is one of the nation’s oldest and largest financial institutions, with $220.4 billion in assets as of March 31, 2024. Headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, Citizens offers a broad range of retail and commercial banking products and services to individuals, small businesses, middle-market companies, large corporations and institutions. Citizens helps its customers reach their potential by listening to them and by understanding their needs in order to offer tailored advice, ideas and solutions. In Consumer Banking, Citizens provides an integrated experience that includes mobile and online banking, a full-service customer contact center and the convenience of approximately 3,300 ATMs and approximately 1,000 branches in 14 states and the District of Columbia. Consumer Banking products and services include a full range of banking, lending, savings, wealth management and small business offerings. In Commercial Banking, Citizens offers a broad complement of financial products and solutions, including lending and leasing, deposit and treasury management services, foreign exchange, interest rate and commodity risk management solutions, as well as loan syndication, corporate finance, merger and acquisition, and debt and equity capital markets capabilities. More information is available at www.citizensbank.com or visit us on TwitterLinkedIn or Facebook.


About Citizens Philanthropic Foundation

The Citizens Philanthropic Foundation is a charitable organization funded by Citizens Financial Group, Inc.  The Foundation’s mission is centered in the belief that citizenship is at the heart of Citizens’ identity, and when people and communities reach their potential, we all thrive.  The Foundation currently focuses its giving in three key areas: helping people to manage their money, engaging with partners in the fight against hunger, and strengthening our communities. By investing in these important issues, the Citizens Philanthropic Foundation strives to improve the lives of our fellow citizens through building partnerships with public, private, and community interests to develop neighborhoods, transform lives, and stimulate economic renewal.


About Local Initiatives Support Corporation New York (LISC NY)

LISC NY is the New York office of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). LISC NY supports local partners across New York State whose services and programs aim to create a more equitable, inclusive, and sustainable New York.  Since 1980, LISC NY has invested over $3.1 billion and leveraged an additional $7.6 billion in support of low-income communities. LISC NY’s investment strategy is guided by a belief that the time has come to forge a future for New York that eradicates the racial wealth gap for good, protects affordable housing, and builds pathways of meaningful economic opportunity for all New Yorkers. For more information about LISC NY and their programs and advocacy, visit here.


About Central Brooklyn Economic Development Corporation (CBEDC)

Founded in 1989, Central Brooklyn Economic Development Corporation works to develop pathways to self-sufficiency for individuals, families and small business owners in Central Brooklyn.  With the belief that the strength of a community is rooted in the strength of its people, CBEDC advocates for public/private investments and resources to support the expansion of hyper-local organizations and small businesses. A robust hyper-local economy is the key to closing racial wealth gaps, income disparities and improving the overall health of the community.


About National Wind Services Corp. (NWS)

Founded in 2022, National Wind Services Corp. (NWS) is a female founded business that supports the energy and manufacturing industry nationwide through program development ranging from workforce curriculum design to on-site training programs in renewable energy and sustainability. NWS’ primary goal is to enable all communities to benefit from the technical, manufacturing, fabrication, and machining careers in clean energy industries. To achieve this mission, they are creating and deploying training programs that enable the youth and underemployed from under-resourced communities to be job ready.


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