New State Report Outlines Future of Offshore Wind Workforce

Vineyard Wind

HYANNIS – Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito joined Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides Wednesday in announcing a new report that assesses the state’s advancements towards developing offshore wind energy.

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center Offshore Wind Workforce Report analyzes what specific occupations, training and supply chains will be required during development of an offshore wind project, and the state’s ability to supply the necessary workers.

It also shows where gaps may exist in the supply chain required to finish large scale wind projects, and how officials can help address them.

Which priority communities should receive focus in workforce development based on equity, need and current workforce supply are addressed by the report as well.

During the report’s announcement at the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal, Baker also highlighted a plan to invest $100 million in port infrastructure utilizing federal COVID relief funding. 

“As Massachusetts prepares for the construction of the first commercial offshore wind project in the nation, our Administration is focused on ensuring our workforce is trained, ready and offers pathways to employment for all residents, especially in the communities that can most benefit from this generational economic opportunity,” said Baker.

“Our administration is proposing a significant investment in critical port infrastructure to meet the scale of offshore wind development in the Northeast and help us achieve our ambitious climate goals.”

The terminal and its large-scale heavy-lift facility are part of lease agreements with offshore wind developers Mayflower Wind and Vineyard Wind, the latter being the developer of the nation’s first large-scale offshore wind project planned for just south of Cape Cod and Islands.

State grants will help expand offshore wind education at Cape Cod Community College, including new courses focusing on sustainable energy. 

“Offshore wind is the anchor for the Baker-Polito Administration’s strategy to reach net zero emissions by 2050, offering Massachusetts an opportunity to produce clean energy while creating a new economic engine that will lead to jobs and investment in the South Coast and other regions across the Commonwealth,” said Theoharides. 

“As we leverage our network of educational institutions and work together to develop a diverse, inclusive workforce, we must also make smart, timely investments in our port assets so Massachusetts can capitalize on the economic potential of this industry in the Northeast market.”

The budding industry is anticipated by state officials to have a direct economic impact of $600 to $800 million and a total economic impact of $1.4 to $2.1 billion. 

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native from Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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