New York State Announces Offshore Wind Basic Safety Training Program At SUNY Maritime College


Governor Kathy Hochul today announced beginning February 5, 2024, SUNY Maritime College, in partnership with RelyOn Nutec, will offer five modules of the internationally-recognized offshore wind Basic Safety Training. This training is certified by the Global Wind Organization and is needed before offshore wind workers embark on their technical training. Today’s announcement builds on Governor Hochul’s efforts to expand workforce training programs to grow industry and employment opportunities across the State.

“New York is leading the nation in the transition to clean energy, including training the workforce of the future to work on offshore wind for decades to come,” Governor Hochul said. “SUNY Maritime’s training program will ensure anyone interested in a career to grow our green economy can gain the knowledge and skills necessary to enter and succeed in these growing sectors.”

The Basic Safety Training program is made possible, in part, by a $500,000 Offshore Wind Training Institute (OWTI) grant awarded by SUNY in 2023. The $20 million OWTI was launched in 2020 in collaboration with SUNY’s Farmingdale State College and Stony Brook University and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to advance offshore wind training programs and the educational infrastructure needed to establish a skilled workforce that can support the emerging national offshore wind industry. In cultivating a statewide umbrella of industry, academic, trade and community partnerships, the OWTI will certify and train 2,500 New York workers to support both offshore and onshore renewable energy projects.

Winning OWTI proposals fall under one or more “priority focus areas,” which include expanding existing SUNY curricula relevant to offshore wind; responding to rapid, targeted training needs; and addressing barriers to entry. Proposals addressed equity needs, long-term outreach to young students, community-driven efforts to raise awareness and partnerships with connected or adjacent sectors.

SUNY Maritime College is also working with its partners at RelyOn Nutec to develop certified GWO Basic Technical Training (BTT). The BST and BTT course development, GWO certification, and training facilities were funded through a US Department of Labor Community Program grant sponsored by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and former Representative Tom Suozzi, as well as through the OWTI grant.

The grants, totaling $ 1.5 million, are also being utilized to establish the Maritime College Center of Excellence for Offshore Wind, which will be focused on research and scholarship, academic programs, workforce development programs, and outreach and education. This training is certified by the GWO and is needed before offshore wind workers embark on their technical training, regardless of position. 

Currently, Maritime College is the only SUNY institution and one of only two Maritime Academies in the US offering GWO-certified offshore BST training. The BST program offers hybrid courses, with the classroom portion taught online and assessments taking place on campus utilizing SUNY Maritime’s offshore wind training facility to train up to 500 students per year.

Students enrolled in the program will learn how to safely deliver first aid in a wind turbine environment; how to fight fires in wind turbines; understand the importance of safe practices for handling equipment; learn sea survival tactics; as well as learn the risks of working at heights, specific to a wind turbine generation, along with approaching rescue situations using rescue equipment efficiently at sea.

SUNY Chancellor John B. King, Jr. joined SUNY Maritime College President Rear Adm. Michael Alfultis on campus today ahead of the training launch.

SUNY Chancellor John B. King, Jr. said, “As New York State progresses towards a more sustainable future powered by clean energy, it is essential that offshore wind workers are equipped with the basic safety techniques needed in critical moments if and when an emergency arises. SUNY is poised to be the leading educator that develops the offshore wind workforce with programs across the system. SUNY Maritime College, with its waterfront location and cutting-edge training facilities, is the perfect place to train the highly skilled workforce of offshore wind workers before they prepare for their technical training.”

NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, “The State University of New York (SUNY) continues to be a valuable partner through the Offshore Wind Training Institute, and SUNY Maritime’s new Offshore Wind Basic Safety Training Program is foundational in building a robust workforce to support New York’s growing offshore wind industry. These are exciting, family-sustaining, and technically challenging jobs, and it is critical that workers are provided with all the resources necessary to ensure a safe and productive work environment as we stand up this new industry.”   

SUNY Board Vice Chairman Cesar Perales said, “Our SUNY Maritime College is well-suited to set New Yorkers aspiring to join the offshore wind industry on a successful career path. The college, a hidden gem that deserves loud accolades,  provides rigorous hands-on training and offers a state-of-the-art facility housing a brand-new training ship that features the latest technology. My congratulations to President Alfultis and his team, and my gratitude to our Governor, state legislature, and our congressional delegation for their support.” 

SUNY Maritime College President Rear Adm. Michael Alfultis said, “We are thrilled to offer a training program such as this. Offshore wind power has been growing on a steady trajectory over the last decade, and Maritime College can be an asset in training individuals for this thriving Maritime industry.”

Farmingdale State College President John S. Nader said, “SUNY Maritime College is a valued partner in the OWTI and an ideal institution to prepare workers for this rapidly emerging industry. This training is vital to delivering the skilled and talented workforce required to make offshore wind an integral part of the energy and economic landscape in New York and beyond.”

Stony Brook University President Maurie McInnis said, “Stony Brook University’s on-going efforts to prepare professionals for the offshore wind sector and build both short- and long-term infrastructure for offshore wind energy in New York further demonstrate our commitment to addressing the global climate crisis with innovation and urgency. The OWTI’s mission has identified the required skills, collaboration, and vision needed, and the SUNY community continues to collaborate on that vision. We are pleased to see SUNY Maritime College join in helping bring SUNY to the forefront of New York’s collective efforts against climate change and look forward to advancing this critical work in partnership with them as well as leaders from across the state, including our other partners at Farmingdale State College, NYSERDA, and Chancellor King.” 

RelyOn Nutec Managing Director Jenni Lewis said, “The upcoming skill shortage coupled with the ambitious acceleration of investments not only in the State of New York, but across the United States’ wind energy sector, put pressure on training and capabilities of both the existing and upcoming workforce as well as training providers’ capacity to meet the growing demand. Through this partnership, it is our joint ambition to help ensure that the local workforce is trained sufficiently for the upcoming years as more and more offshore projects are due to start.”

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said, “I’m proud New York is leading the nation when it comes to projects that are good for workers, good for the planet, and good for our economy. The federal funding my office secured for SUNY Maritime’s new offshore wind basic safety training program will help prepare our workforce for offshore wind jobs and help New York and the country meet our renewable energy goals. In less than 15 years, New York expects to have nearly 5,000 new jobs in the offshore wind industry — and SUNY Maritime is training those workers now.”

State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky said, “Offshore wind energy is one of the many ways New York is moving toward a more sustainable, ecofriendly future. SUNY Maritime is training students for service in the growing wind energy field. This program will help provide a workforce prepared for this growing industry.”

State Senator Nathalia Fernandez said, “Empowering our workforce with essential safety training is not just a commitment to their well-being, but a cornerstone of building a sustainable future. By offering the globally recognized offshore wind Basic Safety Training, SUNY Maritime College is not only preparing individuals for success but also safeguarding our journey towards a cleaner, greener tomorrow. Thank you for ensuring safety and sustainability for generations to come.”

About SUNY Maritime College

SUNY Maritime College is the first of seven maritime academies in the United States. The College educates dynamic leaders for the global maritime transportation industry, shipping business, engineering, energy, facilities management, finance, the armed forces, and public service. Students choose from 11 undergraduate majors, including five ABET-accredited engineering programs and two master’s degree programs. In addition to a College degree, students can earn a Deck or Engine merchant mariner license. The license program prepares students to navigate, operate and manage ships. There are 17 varsity athletic teams and more than 40 clubs and organizations available to students. 

About The State University of New York

The State University of New York, which celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2023, is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2022, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit


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