Maryland announces $22.9m fund for offshore wind training

4C Offshore | Tom Russell
By: 04/08/2022 Ørsted
The U.S. Department of Commerce and State of Maryland announced a $22.9 million federal investment in the state’s offshore wind workforce training and pledged to work closely with State leaders to prepare Maryland residents for its offshore wind workforce. The State of Maryland, through the Maryland Department of Labor, will utilize the funds to create Maryland Works for Wind, a regional consortium to establish the state as a key hub for offshore wind training, fabrication, and employment. 

This program will partner leading employers and seven local unions to build a training model that meets the needs of employers and local communities. With a focus on formerly incarcerated individuals, veterans, disconnected youth, and other underserved populations, the Maryland Works for Wind project will train thousands of individuals to enter good-paying jobs in the industry. 

This grant is funded through the American Rescue Plan Good Jobs Challenge. The program awarded grants to 32 worker-centered, industry-led workforce training partnerships across the country. The $500 million program is expanding opportunities for more Americans to access and secure good-paying jobs by investing in innovative approaches to advance worker-centered, industry-led workforce training partnerships. 

“Investing in workforce training is crucial to helping Marylanders secure good-paying jobs and to building out our 21st century economy. This targeted $22 million federal grant made possible by the American Rescue Plan will help prepare workers for jobs in offshore wind – a key industry that is not only creating thousands of jobs in Maryland but also moving us forward in our transition to a cleaner, greener future. This is part of our overall strategy to expand opportunity and build an economy with more shared prosperity,” said Senator Chris Van Hollen. 


“President Biden is committed to expanding career opportunities for more Americans to secure good-paying jobs,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This EDA investment will create workforce training programs for the clean energy sector that will help grow Maryland’s offshore wind industry and build resiliency for decades to come.”


Ørsted, the developer of Skipjack Wind in Maryland, commended the U.S. Department of Commerce and State of Maryland for a $22.9 million federal investment in the state’s offshore wind workforce training and pledged to work closely with State leaders to prepare Maryland residents for its offshore wind workforce.

Ørsted outlined that it will invest nearly $735 million in Maryland and aims to create thousands of local jobs during Skipjack Wind’s development and operation. As part of this effort, Ørsted is committing $10 million to STEM education and workforce development programs in Maryland. These programs will convene Maryland colleges, universities, community colleges, school systems, registered apprenticeship programs, pre-apprenticeship programs and community organizations.


“Ørsted is proud to be making significant commitments to develop supply chain, manufacturing, and operations capabilities across Maryland as we develop Skipjack Wind,” said David Hardy, CEO of Ørsted Offshore North America. “The Maryland Works for Wind initiative positions the state to build a pipeline of skilled talent to support Skipjack Wind’s development and other projects in the U.S. and globally. Ørsted is excited to work with the Maryland Department of Labor and its partners to ensure all Marylanders have access to the skills needed to secure good-paying jobs in offshore wind.”  


Building on Ørsted’s agreement with the North American Building Trades Union, and the Baltimore - D.C. Metro Building and Construction Trades Council, Ørsted is committed to working in partnership with organized labor to build Skipjack Wind’s onshore and offshore construction, and ensure those who are building the project are paid decent wages, work in a safe environment, and have a voice on the job.


Ørsted is also partnering with Tradepoint Atlantic to build Maryland’s first offshore wind staging center. Ørsted invested $13.2 million in port infrastructure upgrades for handling offshore wind components such as nacelles, blades, and towers, and will develop 50 additional acres for the laydown, storage, and assembly of components. Ørsted will also support the development of a subsea array cable and turbine tower manufacturing facilities in Maryland to serve offshore wind projects in the U.S.


On Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Ørsted entered into a $70 million supply agreement to establish Maryland’s first offshore wind steel fabrication center at Crystal Steel Fabricators and will construct Maryland’s first zero-emissions operations and maintenance facility in west Ocean City.