Massachusetts Offshore Wind Workforce Development Grants Program

To support the development of a skilled and capable workforce, MassCEC has awarded three rounds of grant funding, totaling over $4 million, to Massachusetts institutions, labor unions, non-profit organizations, and businesses to support new offshore wind workforce training and development programs and projects in the Commonwealth. Find descriptions of each round of awards, as well as the individual projects, below. 

2019 Award Summary: MassCEC awarded grants to six academic institutions and labor organizations to establish workforce training and development programs to support the state’s emerging offshore wind industry. The awards, which include a funding commitment from Vineyard Wind’s Workforce Fund, represent a significant investment to grow a workforce in MA to meet the needs of the emerging industry, including the construction and operation of Vineyard Wind I. The selected programs offer basic safety and technical training to internationally recognized standards and address a diverse mix of workforce training target areas, including career introduction courses, and technician and professional certificate programs while providing targeted support for the Vineyard Wind project and future offshore wind construction.  

2020 Award Summary: In June 2020, MassCEC announced grant awards to nine Massachusetts institutions and organizations to establish or expand workforce training and development programs that support the state’s emerging offshore wind industry. The nine new workforce development programs will further expand the broad-based ecosystem of institutions and organizations throughout the Commonwealth that are helping Massachusetts workers to secure high-quality jobs in offshore wind. Specifically, these awards support health, safety, and technical training programs; offshore wind vocational education; programs that help members of organized labor unions and commercial fishing interested in offshore wind jobs develop the needed skills; and the build-out of higher education pathways for students interested offshore wind.  Both Vineyard Wind and Mayflower Wind contributed funding to support these awards.

2021 Award Summary: In July 2021, MassCEC awarded eight grants to academic institutions, nonprofits, and union groups to increase the participation of underrepresented populations in the offshore wind industry under an Expanding Access to Opportunity grants round. The eight Massachusetts organizations will reduce barriers to job entry within the emerging offshore wind industry. The Access to Opportunity initiative will support the development of equitable and accessible offshore wind workforce training programs located throughout Massachusetts. Programs supported by this funding will increase access to offshore wind training opportunities by building interest in offshore wind careers through orientation programs at high school and adult education levels; targeting recruitment for existing training programs; providing internships and apprenticeships; highlighting pathways to employment in offshore wind; and providing financial incentives, support, and other services to individuals to enable participation in training programs. 

 

         

Adult Continuing Education – Martha’s Vineyard (ACE MV): ACE MV’s mission is to provide Vineyard Residents and workforce with experiences that enable them to thrive through skill building, professional development, credentialing, and life-long learning. ACE MV has been awarded three grants by MassCEC: 

  • 2019: To partner with Bristol Community College to provide Martha’s Vineyard residents an on-island Offshore Wind Technician Certificate program. Completion of the Certificate program will give participants the skills and credentials necessary for jobs in operations and maintenance of offshore wind farms located south of Martha’s Vineyard and beyond.

  • 2020: To expand the Offshore Wind Technician Certificate program to encourage high school dual enrollment in the program and to explore options for incorporating marine science and technology programming into Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School’s Career and Technical Education Program. 

  • 2021: To launch a 24-month diversity outreach project dedicated to increasing the numbers of women and girls in offshore wind training and education. The project includes a community-wide, multi-level promotion campaign with financial support for Wind Turbine Technician Certificate, expanded high school STEM programming, and listening sessions. 

 

  

A.I.S., Inc. (AIS): AIS provides fully trained protected species observers and certified inspectors for harbor and river dredging operations. MassCEC has awarded AIS one grant:

  • 2020: To expand their existing Protected Species Observers training program to include an on-the-water training component and to develop a new training program that improves offshore wind Operations and Maintenance professionals’ understanding of regional protected species. 

  

Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology (BFIT): BFIT is an urban college serving the Boston region with a commitment to student success and career readiness. BFIT has received one MassCEC grant:

  • 2021: To partner with UMass Lowell and examine if an increased level of financial and academic support for women, people of color, and LGBTQIA+ communities will increase diversity in associate and bachelor's degree training programs for jobs in the Offshore Wind Workforce. Training programs for both technician and engineering level positions will be provided. 

Building Pathways, INC. (BPI): BPI provides a gateway for low-income area residents in underserved communities to access family-sustaining careers in the construction industry through apprenticeship preparedness training programs. BPI was awarded one MassCEC grant:

  • 2021: To provide four 200+ hour Pre-Apprentice General Construction training programs to women, BIPOC, transitioning veterans, disabled, disconnected or at-risk youth, and LGBTQIA community member participants for opportunities in the building trades industry with a focus on opportunities in the offshore wind industry. 

Bristol Community College (BCC): Bristol’s National Offshore Wind Institute (NOWI) offers basic and advanced safety and technical training programs to prepare workers for jobs in construction, deployment, operations and maintenance of offshore wind farms. Bristol was awarded three grants by MassCEC:

  • 2019: To establish basic safety training (BST) and basic technical training (BTT) to Global Wind Organization (GWO) standards on campus. These trainings are part of a larger initiative at BCC to develop NOWI, which will provide a variety of trainings, certifications, and educational offerings, including a certificate program and an Associate’s degree relating to offshore wind.

  • 2020: To expand essential training and health certification programs at NOWI. Additionally, to conduct a feasibility study to understand the need and interest for further safety and technical training programs. Finally, to develop a Basics of Offshore Wind program.

  • 2021: To create a communication campaign and neighborhood outreach strategy in partnership with Old Bedford Village. The project will be supported by an asynchronous orientation to offshore wind course focused on entry into the sector. The project will focus on residents of New Bedford, BIPOC, women, veterans, under- and unemployed, and workers seeking to transition into offshore wind from other industries. 

    

Cape Cod Community College (CCCC): CCCC is a two-year community college located in West Barnstable, Massachusetts. MassCEC has awarded CCCC one grant:

  • 2019: To develop and deliver a suite of courses introducing students and workers to careers in offshore wind. These offerings include a non-credit Offshore Wind 101 course and Power of Wind workshops for middle school students that raise awareness and interest in renewable energy technology and careers at an early stage. The offerings also include a three-course Sustainable Energy Certificate Program, which requires the courses Introduction to Solar Energy and Renewable Energy, Climate, and Careers

      

Fishing Partnership Support Services (FPSS): FPSS is a non-profit support service organization dedicated to improving the health, safety and economic security of commercial fishermen and their families. MassCEC awarded FPSS one workforce grant:

  • 2020: To work with the Commercial Fisheries Center of Rhode Island and the University of Rhode Island Fisheries Center to develop industry-standardized professional requirements for the safety and inspection of vessels for use in the offshore wind industry, which will allow interested fishermen to upskill and retrain for important offshore wind job opportunities that can augment their fishing incomes. 

Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Development Program (GFWDP): GFWDP is a non-profit organization with a goal to promote a healthy environment and a just economy that allows local and family-owned businesses to thrive in a changing world. FGWDP has received one MassCEC grant:

  • 2020: To work with the Massachusetts Fishermen’s Partnership and the Northeast Maritime Institute to recruit and pre-qualify commercial fishermen for enrollment in dedicated training and certification programs at the Northeast Maritime Institute. 

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local Union #223:  IBEW aims to bring fair wages, safety on the job, and trained workers to the electrical industry. IBEW was awarded one MassCEC grant:

  • 2020: To establish a high voltage and fiber optic training program for skilled electricians at the IBEW’s training facility in Taunton, in partnership with JDR Cables, a cable supplier for the Vineyard Wind 1 project. 

Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA): MMA is a public college located in Buzzards Bay, MA and offers courses in maritime-related fields. MMA was awarded two grants by MassCEC:

  • 2019: To support the establishment Global Wind Organisation (GWO) Basic Safety Training (BST) for offshore wind, and the development of an Introduction to Offshore Wind course for Academy cadets. MMA began offering GWO BST in 2019, making it the first in the nation to provide the Sea Survival module, which is required for working on wind projects offshore.

  • 2020: To conduct a feasibility study to understand the need, interest, and business case for developing and delivering a crew transfer vessel operator training program, specialized helicopter transfer training, and Global Wind Organisation (GWO) Advanced Rescue Training.

Pile Drivers and Divers, Local 56Pile Drivers and Divers, Local 56 represents over 400 pile drivers, divers, burners, riggers, bridge, wharf, and dock builders in MA. Pile Drivers and Divers, Local 56 was awarded one MassCEC grant:

  • 2019: To sponsor trade union members to get certified in Global Wind Organisation (GWO) Basic Safety Training (BST) at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

  

Self Reliance: Self Reliance focuses on increasing awareness of energy issues within the region, facilitate properly sited renewable energy system installation, and executing training workshops that help to increase expertise related to renewable energy. Self Reliance has been awarded one MassCEC workforce grant:

  • 2021: Self-Reliance will develop and run a 5-day, 40-hour experiential learning program that introduces the offshore wind industry to K-12 educators and students from Gateway Communities across Massachusetts through a MassCEC grant. The program centers around the KidWind curriculum. 

  

UMass Amherst University of Massachusetts, Amherst: UMass Amherst is a public land-grant research university in Amherst, Massachusetts. UMass Amherst received two grants from MassCEC:

  • 2019: To complete initial design and development of an online offshore wind professional certificate program for graduates and working professionals. The certificate program launched in Fall 2020.​

  • 2021: To attract Priority Group members to its existing Offshore Wind Professional Certificate Program through relationships with multiple university STEM programs. Recruitment will initially focus on BIPOC/ethnic minorities. Subsequent recruitment will include veterans, individuals in Gateway Cities/EJCs, and indigenous populations, and women. 

              

University of Massachusetts, Lowell (UML): UML is a public research university located in Lowell, Massachusetts. UML has received one grant from MassCEC:

  • 2020: To build on existing offshore wind workforce research through analysis of the local labor market and current university-level educational offerings. Additionally, to develop educational content and associated credentialing to fill existing gaps. 

   

VINCI VR (VINCI): VINCI VR works to ensure workforces can improve training outcomes by leveraging the full potential of highly realistic simulated training and to significantly lower the barrier of entry for the creation of virtual reality content. VINCI has been awarded one MassCEC grant:

  • 2020: To certify two Global Wind Organisation (GWO) courses (Basic Technical Training-Installation and Slinger Signaler) using virtual reality simulations in partnership with Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, an offshore wind turbine manufacturer.   

     

    

Xodus Group (Xodus): Xodus Group is an energy consultancy organization. Xodus has been awarded one MassCEC workforce grant:

  • 2021To develop and conduct a workforce program designed to provide underrepresented groups with insight on career opportunities in offshore wind, in partnership with Browning the Green Space. The program will demonstrate the pathways to industry employment through two work experience routes: internships and pre-apprenticeships. Target Priority Groups include BIPOC, women, students in Chapter 74 vocational technical education programs, and unemployed and low-income individuals.