Offshore Wind Workforce Community of Practice

Offshore Wind Workforce Training and Development in Massachusetts

The new U.S. offshore wind industry will need a large, diverse, and skilled workforce.   The training and development of an offshore wind workforce is important to ensuring local residents have the skills, credentials, and expertise they need to access new, high-quality job opportunities in the emerging offshore wind industry. Through investments, technical assistance, and facilitation, MassCEC is supporting a range of essential, innovative, and thoughtful programs, initiatives, and projects that are training and educating Massachusetts workers for jobs in offshore wind.                    

2018 Massachusetts Offshore Wind Workforce Assessment                                  

In 2018, MassCEC released the 2018 Massachusetts Offshore Wind Workforce Assessment, which detailed the workforce needs and economic impact of the emerging offshore wind industry.  The report’s findings indicated that, when taking into account direct, indirect (supply chain), and induced impacts, the deployment of 1,600 MW of offshore wind is estimated to support between 6,500 and 9,500 job years over the next ten years and generate a total economic impact in Massachusetts of between $1.4 billion to $2.1 billion.  The analysis for this study was conducted based on 2016 legislation authorizing the Commonwealth to procure 1,600 MW of cost-effective offshore wind.  That authorization has since increased to 3,200 MW.

Massachusetts Offshore Wind Workforce Grants and the Development of a Community of Practice

To support the development of a skilled and capable workforce and to address identified gaps and needs for the new offshore wind industry, MassCEC, in partnership with Vineyard Wind and Mayflower Wind, has awarded over $2 million in grants 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.

MassCEC is piloting a Community of Practice for Massachusetts Offshore Wind Workforce Training and Development, which aims to help the offshore wind workforce grantees and other interested partners and stakeholders network, share information and resources, coordinate, and collectively develop training and educational pathways into and through the offshore wind industry.  Through this Community of Practice, MassCEC aims to build a cohesive and comprehensive ecosystem of training providers, educational institutions, community development organizations, and support services organizations throughout the Commonwealth that can work collaboratively to build a world-class offshore wind workforce in Massachusetts.

            

Adult Continuing Education, Martha’s Vineyard (ACE MV):  Through a grant from MassCEC, ACE MV is partnering with Bristol Community College to provide Martha’s Vineyard residents an on-island Offshore Wind Technician Certificate program. The goal is to help individuals who successfully complete this Certificate program gain skills and credential that will help them get jobs operating and maintaining offshore wind farms located south of Martha’s Vineyard and beyond.

  • Learn more about ACE MV's Offshore Wind Technician Certificate program and how to register here
  • Point of Contact: Holly Bellebuono, 508-693-9222, holly@acemv.org

Bristol Community College (BCC):  Bristol received a grant from MassCEC to establish basic safety training (BST) and basic technical training (BTT) to Global Wind Organization (GWO) standards at its campus in New Bedford. These trainings are part of a larger initiative at BCC to develop a National Offshore Wind Institute (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.

  • Learn more about Bristol's National Offshore Wind Institute here
  • National Offshore Wind Institute Point of Contact: Jennifer Menard, 774-357-2998, Jennifer.Menard@BristolCC.edu
  • Learn more about Bristol's Offshore Wind Technician Certificate Program and registration here. 
  • Learn more about Bristol's Engineering/Offshore Wind Power Technology Associate's Degree Program and registration here. 
  • Academic program Point of Contact: Yashwant Sinha, Yashwant.Sinha@bristolcc.edu 

Cape Cod Community College (CCCC):  CCCC received a grant from MassCEC to develop and deliver a suite of courses to introduce students and workers to careers in offshore wind.  These offerings include a non-credit Offshore Wind 101 course, which can be tailored to specific audiences interested in a high-level overview of the offshore wind industry, professional development courses for K-12 teachers relating to offshore wind, and Power of Wind workshops for middle school students that raise awareness and interest in renewable energy technology and careers at an early stage.  They also include a credit-bearing Introduction to Wind Energy course, which, along with Introduction to Solar Energy, and Renewable Energy, Climate, and Careers, is part of a three-course Sustainable Energy certificate program.

  • Learn more about CCCC's offshore wind and renewable energy offerings and how to register here.
  • Point of Contact: Bridget Burger, 774-330-4459, bburger@capecod.edu

 

 

       

Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA):  MMA’s grant from MassCEC supported the establishment Global Wind Organisation (GWO) Basic Safety Training (BST) for offshore wind, along with 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.

  • Learn more about MMA's GWO BST course and how to register here.
  • Point of Contact: Michael Burns, cmt@maritime.edu

       

Pile Drivers and Divers, Local 56:  With support from MassCEC, the Pile Drivers and Divers Local Union 56 is sponsoring trade union members to get certified in Global Wind Organisation (GWO) Basic Safety Training (BST) at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

  • Point of Contact: Dave Borrus, 617-443-1988

University of Massachusetts, Amherst:  UMass Amherst received a grant from MassCEC to complete initial design and development of an online offshore wind professional certificate program for graduates and working professionals.  The certificate program is launching in the fall of 2020.

  • Learn more about UMass Amherst's Professional Certificate program and how to register here.
  • Point of Contact: River Strong, 413-545-3653, oswcertificate@umass.edu

 

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.

When agreements have been executed for nine awards and work is underway, this site will be updated with program and project summaries and points of contact. To learn more about this Community of Practice or if you have questions about any of MassCEC’s Offshore Wind workforce training and development efforts, please contact Kirsten Holland (kholland@masscec.com).