HEMPSTEAD, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Empire and Beacon Wind projects, which are being built as part of a 50-50 strategic partnership between Equinor and bp, have announced the creation of its GENext initiative. This initiative is a comprehensive program to open pathways to career opportunities for the current and next generation of workers on Long Island and in the Capital Region and New York City.
The program, announced at the Minority Millennials ‘We are the Future Summit’ at Hofstra University, will launch during the lead up to construction of the projects with local school districts, colleges and unions in the three regions of New York to build awareness and access to offshore wind education and training centers that help produce the future workforce for New York’s rapidly growing renewable energy industry.
“Just as New York made a substantial commitment to fostering the growth of offshore wind in the state, we are committed to involving New York’s workers and small businesses directly in the industry’s growth. The GENext program takes a multi-generational approach to the development of this workforce, helping ensure that family-sustaining careers are accessible to New Yorkers and reflects the state’s diversity. Offshore wind is about more than helping the state reach its ambitious renewable energy goals—it’s about new generations of New Yorkers taking a leadership role in the future of this exciting new industry,” said Jennifer Edwards, incoming Head of Community Affairs for Equinor Wind US.
The GENext program’s cradle-to-career approach to education and workforce development involves three comprehensive stages:
- Integrating offshore wind and STEM curriculum within local schools to increase awareness of career pathways within the industry, as well as introduce the technological concepts of wind energy in a fun and age-appropriate manner.
- Developing technical talent by working with local higher educational institutions and training centers to facilitate post-secondary degrees and certifications in fields connected to the offshore wind industry such as electrical engineering. Equinor will also provide a specific set of wraparound services, such as scholarships, housing, transportation or childcare for underserved New York communities to help ensure robust participation and increased graduation rates, regardless of socio-economic or other factors.
- Working with companies that are in the supply chain to build their capacity to ensure that their workforce is well-equipped to enter and complete training programs; help local businesses access entry-points into the supply chain; build out required training programs that will allow these businesses to qualify for work in the offshore wind sector; and provide additional wraparound services to help reduce the cost for these diverse small businesses and their workforces to enter into the offshore wind industry.
The GENext initiative will be rolled out on Long Island, in the coming months because of its proximity to the Empire Wind and Beacon Wind projects and the innovative track record of Long Island’s school districts. Additional developments of local K-12 schools, colleges and training centers, including details on the program roll out in New York City and the Capital Region, will follow in the coming months.
Equinor Renewables US
Equinor is one of the largest offshore wind developers in the world. Its work in the United States includes the development of two lease areas off New York, Empire Wind and Beacon Wind. The projects plan to provide New York State with 3.3 gigawatts (GWs) of energy—enough to power nearly two million homes—including more than 2 GWs from Empire Wind and 1,230 megawatts from Beacon Wind 1. www.equinor.com/NY.
bp in the US
bp’s ambition is to become a net zero company by 2050 or sooner, and to help the world get to net zero. bp has a larger economic footprint in the United States than anywhere else in the world, investing more than $140 billion since 2005 and supporting about 245,000 jobs. For more information on bp in the US, visit www.bp.com/US.
About Empire Wind
Empire Wind is being developed by Equinor and bp through their 50-50 strategic partnership in the US. Empire Wind will power more than 1 million homes and generate 2.1 GW of power. For more information, please visit www.empirewind.com.
About Beacon Wind
Beacon Wind is being developed by Equinor and bp and is planned for an area of 128,000 acres in federal waters between Cape Cod and Long Island. The lease area was acquired in 2019 and is being developed in two phases. Beacon Wind 1 is on track to deliver 1.2 GW of renewable energy directly to New York City in the late 2020s – enough to power 1 million homes. Beacon Wind 2 has the capacity to generate another 1.2 GW of clean energy for consumers in the US Northeast. www.beaconwind.com.