A New Kind of Workforce Development Tool for a New Kind of Workforce
Updated: Mar 29
How does a state build the required workforce for an undertaking so large that it is expected to power six million homes by 2035? That was a key question the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) sought to answer last year as it continued its momentous investment into the offshore wind (OSW) industry. Given Karp Strategies’ expanding portfolio of work in the offshore wind industry, as well as a wealth of knowledge in both community engagement and workforce development, our firm, working with software developer and UX specialists Next Solutions, was well positioned to support NYSERDA in consolidating all OSW workforce development opportunities into a user-friendly website accessible to potential employers, training partners, and job seekers.
New York State is on its way to developing 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind energy by 2035. Recognizing that this pace of growth requires significant workforce development efforts, NYSERDA is partnering with innovative, industry-leading companies and spearheading billions in public and private investments to spur economic development and good-paying jobs for New Yorkers. The goal? To establish a diverse, well-trained, locally based talent pool who, through family-sustaining careers, will develop, manufacture, construct, and operate our clean energy economy.
Using NYSERDA’s existing research on offshore wind-related jobs, Karp Strategies mapped job growth pathways–from entry to advanced skill level and experience–for the different OSW project phases. The team also mapped 430 trainings throughout New York State, including academic programs, apprenticeships, directed entry programs, and GWO certification. All this information was combined to produce an easy-to-use career pathway map with job descriptions, day-in-the-life videos, and relevant NYS training opportunities associated with each job. Users can search for training opportunities near them by inputting their zip codes and navigating to a map with all the relevant contact information.
Beyond the career map and training opportunities, the website offshorewindtraining.ny.gov, which launched in December 2022, lists funding opportunities to support those interested in offering training programs and services. Visitors to the site can also find a slew of answers to some of the most common questions on the Definitions and Frequently Asked Questions page. The page even includes News & Events so that visitors to the site can stay abreast of the latest OSW news from global media outlets and partners.
Despite the vast amount of information stored on the website, Karp Strategies continuously updates the site to ensure that all opportunities are current and relevant. The website also includes functionality for developers and workforce development professionals to submit new training opportunities and other relevant updates, ensuring the website can expand as the industry grows.
While government websites are known to draw the ire of many, with lackluster functionality and outdated information, NYSERDA’s offshore wind industry website stands apart. Karp Strategies enlisted human-centered design practitioners Next Solutions to develop the website. Clean lines and clear, up-to-date information serve, first and foremost, to make data make sense for users. The resulting website’s accessible layout (including for users with disabilities) mirrors NYSERDA’s forward-thinking approach to its mission and work. Karp Strategies was pleased to partner with NYSERDA and Next Solutions to create this website and hopes the site will inform workers across the state about the ever-increasing opportunities in offshore wind.