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Job-hunters in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, may soon have new opportunities.

New York State recently selected a company called Equinor to build two offshore wind farms near Long Island, New York. That means the state will now have five offshore wind projects underway, and they’re expected to create both clean energy and jobs.

The industry plans to use a marine terminal in Sunset Park as a hub – first for staging and assembling the wind turbines and later for operations and maintenance.

“We have a huge opportunity here to create good career jobs for people,” says Maritza Silva-Farrell of ALIGN – the Alliance for a Greater New York. The group works to address both climate change and income inequality.

She says in Sunset Park, good-paying jobs are scarce, and many residents lack pensions and other benefits.

The wind farms could help change that. Equinor says it will spend about $50 million on workforce training. 

So Silva-Farrell is optimistic. But she says the industry will need to work with unions and community groups and focus on the quality – not just the number – of jobs.

“It has to be with a thought-out process of how those jobs have pensions, benefits, health care, and real economic mobility for the long term,” Silva-Farrell says.

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media