Massachusetts issues $1.6 Million funding for offshore wind training

4C Offshore | Tom Russell
By: 22/07/2021 MassCEC
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito have announced $1.6 million in grant funding for eight Massachusetts organizations, with the aim of reducing barriers to job entry within the emerging offshore wind industry. The funding is expected to support the development of equitable, accessible offshore wind workforce training programmes led by organizations located in Amherst, Boston, Fall River, Falmouth, Lowell, Martha’s Vineyard, New Bedford, and Taunton.

“Massachusetts has led the way on the development of the emerging offshore wind industry, and our Administration is focused on ensuring women and minority candidates have access to the critical training programs they need to take advantage of these new job opportunities,”
said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our plan to invest $100 million in critical port infrastructure through our ARPA spending proposal, along with these vital workforce training programs, will help unlock significant economic opportunities associated with offshore wind development and ensure that everyone in the Commonwealth can benefit from the potential jobs created in the years to come.”

“Expanding offshore wind training and educational programs targeting underrepresented populations will pave the way for the Commonwealth’s talented and diverse workforce to take advantage of rewarding new job opportunities in clean energy,”
said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “We are pleased to support the offshore wind industry, our local colleges, workforce development organizations, and organized labor as they seek to help Massachusetts workers participate in this fast-growing industry.”

The eight funded organizations span a range of approaches and partnerships to expand access to existing programs and to educate groups and individuals.
They include the Asian American Civic Association, Adult Continuing Education, Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology and UMass Lowell, Bristol Community College and Old Bedford Village, Building Pathways, Self-Reliance, UMass Amherst Clean Energy Extension as well as Xodus Group and Browning the Green Space.

“Offshore wind has tremendous potential to create new clean energy jobs, but it is important that access to these jobs is equitable and inclusive. These training programs offer a critical pathway for workers throughout the Commonwealth to participate in this new American industry,”
said MassCEC CEO Stephen Pike. “Diversity, equity and inclusion are central to our work at MassCEC. Massachusetts is well-positioned to serve as an economic hub for offshore wind on the East Coast and these grants will go a long way to achieving that goal in a way that truly lifts all boats.”

Massachusetts selected two 800 MW offshore wind  projects,
Vineyard Wind and Mayflower Wind, in two competitive procurements for offshore wind energy. On May 7, 2021, the Baker-Polito Administration, in the third round of its offshore wind solicitation process, issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking an additional up to 1,600 MW. Bids are due on September 17, 2021, and a selection of projects will be announced by December 17, 2021.

For more information on offshore wind farms worldwide, click here.