Offshore Wind Jobs and Opportunity Act passes hurdle

by Tom Russell in 20/01/2020 4C Offshore

The House Natural Resources Committee has passed a bipartisan bill (H.R. 3068 'Offshore Wind Jobs and Opportunity Act') which seeks to educate and train a workforce for the offshore wind sector in the United States. The bill would authorise $25 million dollars annually to prepare American workers for the installation and operation of offshore wind farms.

Authored by Bourne Congressman Bill Keating and cosponsored by Congressman Joe Kennedy III, it aims in assisting colleges and universities, state and local governments, unions, and non-profits develop curricula, internships, health and safety programs, and other activities deemed appropriate to advance an offshore wind workforce. It would prioritise grants to community colleges and organizations that service minority populations, and those helping workers from other industries transition to the offshore wind industry.

“Offshore wind energy won’t only bring clean, affordable energy to our homes and businesses, it will create jobs and empower local economies throughout New England and across our country,”
said Congressman Joe Kennedy. “As this emerging industry continues to grow, we must ensure American workers are prepared to capitalize on this economic opportunity with good jobs, worker protections and the strength and support of labor unions. With the Natural Resources Committee’s passage of the Offshore Wind Jobs and Opportunity Act, we are moving closer to building a Blue Economy that will lift up working families.”

Southeastern Massachusetts is one of the country’s preeminent hubs of the blue economy,” said Congressman Keating. “And, there are already important programs being launched to develop the workforce needed for the offshore wind industry. In my home town of Bourne, the unveiling of the first in the nation Offshore Wind Training Facility at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy put a unique piece of training infrastructure that will allow students a place to train on the specific safety procedures required by the industry. On Martha’s Vineyard, an innovative partnership between Bristol Community College, Adult Education Martha’s Vineyard, and Vineyard Power is about to launch a course of study to provide high school students, as well as continuing learners, with the opportunity to obtain college credit and job training for the offshore wind industry while on the island. Our community is setting the stage for the rest of the country as we look to a sustainable energy future in the offshore wind sector. The Offshore Wind Jobs and Opportunity Act aims to support and expand these programs here at home in Massachusetts, and to create opportunities for coastal communities across the nation to develop their own workforce as offshore wind projects advance.”

For more information on offshore wind developments in the US,
click here. You can also view projects worldwide on 4C Offshore's interactive map.

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