Snubbed! 6 CUNY colleges receive funding for green jobs, offshore wind curriculum — none on Staten Island.

STATEN ISLAND, NY – The City University of New York (CUNY) college on Staten Island has been excluded from a $4 million grant focused on developing a green energy curriculum, despite widespread expectations that the district will become a key hub for the burgeoning offshore wind industry.

The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) announced that six CUNY colleges — Kingsborough and City Tech in Brooklyn, Baruch in Manhattan, Bronx Community College and Lehman in the Bronx, and LaGuardia in Queens — have stakes in the 3.89 million US dollars will be received representing schools in four of the five districts.

The snub drew the ire of Councilor Joe Borelli (R-South Shore) – whose district includes the developing Arthur Kill Terminal, a proposed manufacturing facility touted for its prime geographic location in connection with offshore wind farm development . This site is currently awaiting federal funding and is expected to be operational by 2025.

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He expressed extreme disappointment that Staten Island was not included in the funding round.

Borelli said key maritime projects essential to the manufacture, assembly, maintenance and operation of wind turbines are in his district but will be pushed back against their progress if the island is locked out of programs that are vital to the industry promote vocational training.

“If Staten Island residents leave out the hundreds of well-paying blue-collar and white-collar jobs that will inevitably be based in our county — and funding the curriculum and training to prepare them for those jobs — the state can take over those turbines and push them where the solar panels don’t glow,” Borelli said.

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“Good luck finding more suitable locations,” he added.

New York City aims to have 70% of its energy consumption from renewable sources by 2030. To date, the Brooklyn Marine Terminal serves as the only confirmed port facility in the five boroughs.

The NYCEDC did not respond to a request for comment.

Thousands of union jobs are expected to result from New York State’s commitment to offshore wind energy, but training for these demanding and technical positions takes time and effective infrastructure, experts said.

The NYCEDC said its funding announcement would help “build a pipeline from local public colleges to these growing and important areas.” The supported curriculum would help students earn certifications for green energy jobs and receive the education needed to work in the offshore wind industry.

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There are currently more than 157,000 clean energy jobs in New York, and nearly 7,000 more are expected to be created in the offshore wind industry alone.

Borelli strongly supported Staten Island’s growing role in the state’s offshore wind energy goals and said he firmly believes the push will transform the region’s economy and bring renewable energy to New Yorkers.

“So I’ve met with industry leaders, workers, and state and local officials to advance these projects and promote the College of Staten Island (CSI) as one of the leading institutions for a green jobs education program,” he said.

“To say I’m disappointed that CSI was excluded from funding to develop curriculum and help students find green energy jobs would be an understatement,” Borelli said.

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