Offshore Wind Works Grants and Community of Practice

To support the development of a skilled and capable workforce, MassCEC has awarded five rounds of grant funding, totaling over $11 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. 

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.

Program Area
Offshore Wind
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Award Summaries

2023: In June 2023, MassCEC awarded grants to eleven entities to provide offshore wind workforce training, access to opportunities, and conduct workforce studies. The awarded entities include higher education institutions, skilled labor organizations, community-based organizations, and private companies. The awards, which include a funding commitment from Vineyard Wind 1 and SouthCoast Wind, include a workforce study, an infrastructure project, and nine educational or workforce training projects. Many of the projects have a focus on reaching diverse and underrepresented communities. Some of the projects focus on providing offshore wind-specific training to skilled workers who will be building our current pipeline of projects while others focus on building awareness and career pathways for high-school and college students. These awards will further expand Massachusetts’s leading efforts to establish an offshore wind-ready workforce here in the Commonwealth.

2022: In June 2022, MassCEC awarded grants to nine entities including higher education institutions, skilled labor organizations, and nonprofits to expand workforce training programs in Massachusetts for planning, constructing and operating offshore wind farms, and to support associated manufacturing and services. The awards, which include a funding commitment from Vineyard Wind 1 and Mayflower Wind, represent the largest investment to date in growing the offshore wind workforce in Massachusetts. The nine awards include funding for establishing new specialized training programs; expanding existing safety and certification programs; constructing a specialized training facility; offering scholarships and experiential learning opportunities to underserved communities; ease barriers to entry in skilled trades training; and engage MA high school and college students in the offshore wind industry.

2021: 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. 

2020: 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.

2019: 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.  

2017 / 2018: MassCEC awarded grants to Massachusetts Maritime Academy for fabrication and installation of a crew transfer training structure. This structure allows workers to train in the safe transfer from floating crew transfer vessels to fixed turbine structures at sea.


A.I.S., Inc. (AIS)

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. 

Bristol Community College (BCC)

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 four 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. 

  • 2022: To construct the National Offshore Wind Institute (NOWI), the first purpose built offshore wind training facility in the nation. The NOWI will offer industry training programs, innovation and entrepreneurship programs, educational and virtual reality simulation all designed to train the local and regional workforce for occupations in the offshore wind industry.

  • 2023: To expand upon the Wind Works for You outreach and communication campaign. The project will bring the Offshore Wind Career Match tool to youth and young adults in New Bedford to help inform them of existing opportunities.

Browning the Green Space (BGS)

Browning the Green Space (BGS): BGS is a non-profit focused on increasing the participation and leadership of Black and Brown people and of women in the clean energy space. BGS has received one grant by MassCEC: 

  • 2022: To partner with Xodus Group to establish a post-secondary degree training program focused on placing individuals from priority groups in a two-year, paid program working on real-life offshore wind energy projects.  
Building Pathways, INC. (BPI)

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. 

Cape Cod Community College (CCCC)

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)

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. 

Franklin Cummings Tech (FC Tech)

Franklin Cummings Tech (FC Tech): FC Tech is an urban college serving the Boston region with a commitment to student success and career readiness. FC Tech has received two MassCEC grants:

  • 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. 

  • 2022: To partner with VinciVR to develop VR simulations for offshore wind construction and installation jobs as well as create refined simulations for direct drive turbines to be used in engineering classes. FC Tech and VinciVR will also purchase VR headsets and laptops, so they can offer Renewable Energy Bootcamps for students in Gateway Cities or EJ populations.  

  • 2023: To expand their Renewable Energy Bootcamp program with an additional eight bootcamps. The Bootcamp programs offers an introduction to offshore wind and renewable energy to underrepresented high school students at no cost.

Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Development Program (GFWDP)

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 Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental, and Reinforcing Iron Workers, Local 7

International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental, and Reinforcing Iron Workers, Local 7: Local 7 Iron Workers is a Massachusetts labor union located in Boston, MA. Local 7 Iron Workers have received one grant from MassCEC: 

  • 2022: To support their members and apprentices by paying for them to acquire GWO Basic Safety Training certification and establishing a tool training program for members to obtain their Hytorc tool certification.
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local Union #223

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. 

Martha's Vineyard Center for Education & Training (MVCET)

Martha's Vineyard Center for Education & Training (MVCET): MVCET'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. MVCET 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. 

Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA)

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

  • 2017/2018: Two tranches of funding for fabrication and installation of a crew transfer training structure to simulate the fixed wind turbine base for crew transfer training. The structure allows workers to train in the safe transfer from floating crew transfer vessels to fixed turbine structures at sea and allows MMA to provide comprehensive sea survival training for offshore workers.

  • 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.

  • 2022: To develop and offer a 40-hour Basic Seamanship course to the Piledriver’s Union Local 56 and to develop and offer Global Wind Organisation (GWO) Basic Technical Training, Enhanced First Aid, and Advanced Rescue Training. GWO courses are an industry standard required for many offshore workers.  

  • 2023: To expand, design, develop, and implement the Offshore Wind Vessel Simulation and Training Center. The Center will be a full-service simulation platform capable of training on a range of functions from basic tug handling to advanced seamanship methods.

MassHire Cape and Islands Workforce Board

MassHire Cape and Islands Workforce Board (CIWB): CIWB is responsible for overseeing all publicly funded vocational education and training programs serving the entire Cape and the Islands region. CIWB has been awarded one grant by MassCEC:

  • 2023: To integrate offshore wind topics into existing curriculum at local Voc-Techs and provide internship and co-op experiences to students. Also to allow for students to visit local offshore wind career sites and participate in recruitment events.
North Atlantic States Carpenters Training Fund

North Atlantic States Carpenters Training Fund (NASCTF)NASCTF aims to deliver cutting-edge training and curriculum to apprentice and journey-level union carpenters. MassCEC has awarded NASCTF one grant. 

  • 2023: To support the Pile Drivers and Divers Local 56 and the Millwrights Local 1121 to obtain GWO safety certifications, GWO technical certifications, and HUET certifications. In all, over two hundred training opportunities for union members will be offered.
Pile Drivers and Divers, Local 56

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 Organization (GWO) Basic Safety Training (BST) at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

Self Reliance

Self RelianceSelf 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: To 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. 

  • 2023: To expand on the 2021 award and offer the 5-day, 40-hour experiential learning program to students for another two years. Also to develop and run multiple one-day workshops on offshore wind for students in underrepresented communities around Massachusetts.

Southeastern Massachusetts Building Trades Council

Southeastern Massachusetts Building Trades Council: The SE Mass Building Trades Council represents union building trades workers across southeastern Massachusetts. They have received one grant from MassCEC:

  • 2022: To partner with Building Pathways South to provide one hundred union members with GWO Basic Safety Training or an Offshore Wind 101 course. One hundred union members will also have the opportunity to participate in a DEIJ training course.  
STEAM the Streets

STEAM the StreetsSTEAM the Streets is an organization which aims to inform, inspire, and activate underserved youth to pursue in-demand career paths. They have received one MassCEC grant. 

  • 2023: To develop an offshore wind career module including videos on a day-in-the-life of an offshore wind professional and highlighting pathways into the industry. The module will be hosted on the free STEAM the Streets app and available to local schools for use in their curriculum.
Tufts University

Tufts UniversityTufts if a private research university located in Medford and Sommerville, Massachusetts. MassCEC has awarded Tufts one OSWW grant. 

  • 2023: To conduct a study aimed at identifying the obstacles to safety in installing and maintaining offshore wind turbines. Through speaking with union members, best practices will be identified and disseminated to industry practitioners.
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

UMass Amherst University of Massachusetts, AmherstUMass Amherst is a public land-grant research university in Amherst, Massachusetts. UMass Amherst received three 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. 

  • 2022: To expand its Offshore Wind Professional Certificate program through increased outreach to priority groups, increased scholarship funding, curriculum enhancements, and industry support outreach. Also to develop an undergraduate offshore wind overview course for UMass Amherst students.  

  • 2023: To develop an online, summer course for early undergraduates that will guide students to the educational pathways that will help them achieve entry-level job-ready skills aligned with their interests within the offshore wind industry. Also to support the redesign and realignment of the website for the Offshore Wind Professional Certificate program.

University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth

University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth: UMass Dartmouth is a public research university located in Dartmouth, Massachusetts. UMass Dartmouth has received one grant from MassCEC. 

  • 2022: To develop a paid internship and experiential learning program for students in offshore wind relevant programs at UMass Dartmouth and Bristol Community College. Internship opportunities and capstone project topics will be determined by an advisory board comprised of industry, higher education, and workforce development practitioners.  
  • 2023: To develop a graduate certificate program in Ocean Observing, Modeling, and Management of Offshore Wind. Also to provide scholarships and internship support for experiential learning opportunities. 


University of Massachusetts, Lowell (UML)

University of Massachusetts, Lowell (UML)UML is a public research university located in Lowell, Massachusetts. UML has received two grants 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. 

  • 2022: To develop and provide an OSHA 30-hour construction safety and general industry training to university students, offshore wind supply chain companies, and participants in local workforce development career centers.


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. 

  • 2023: To bring existing offshore wind virtual reality modules to students in New Bedford, Fall River, and Martha's Vineyard. Every 5th grader in New Bedford will be exposed to offshore wind through the project. Also to develop a 'day-in-the-life' VR module of an offshore wind manufacturing career.

Xodus Group (Xodus)

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.