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WindWorks is a communications campaign of the National Offshore Wind Institute (NOWI) at Bristol Community College. Its goal is to promote career pathways in offshore wind to residents of the City of New Bedford, MA.
You might have seen large cranes assembling turbine towers across route 18 in the south end of New Bedford. That is part of the Federal government’s goal to produce 30 gigawatts of clean offshore wind energy by the year 2030, enough to power 10 million homes. To achieve this goal, 2,500 offshore wind turbines must be built along the U.S. coast in the next decade, supporting 77,000 jobs (44,000 directly employed in offshore wind and an additional 33,000 jobs in communities supported by offshore wind activity). Like the race to the moon, this “windshot” is reshaping energy policy and coastal communities like New Bedford throughout the nation.
The Port of New Bedford is ground zero for assembly and deployment of the nation’s first industrial scale offshore wind farm. The New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal in the southend, and the Foss Marine Terminal just south of downtown will host Construction, and Operations & Maintenance for up to seven federally designated offshore windfarm leases located in waters 25 miles south of New Bedford. All this activity will produce employment for an estimated 25 – 30 years here in our city and across the SouthCoast.
According to Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project, “Green projects in cities increase property values, pushing out [lower income] communities, to make way for higher-paying residents.”
Averting this trend is precisely why the WindWorks campaign exists – to help assure that our transition to clean, offshore wind energy is an equitable endeavor in which host communities like New Bedford have access to information and training in offshore wind careers. With the construction of Bristol’s National Offshore Wind Institute (NOWI) – a $15 million dollar training facility in New Bedford – there is opportunity to train a compitetive and equitable local workforce.
The Project Labor Agreement negotiated by Vineyard Wind, developers of the first offshore wind farm, sets a workforce goal of at least 10% women, 20% people of color, and 51% residents from Bristol and Plymouth counties. But, there is a significant gap in the number of Massachusetts-based Global Wind Organization (GWO) certified skilled workers needed to construct, operate and maintain commercial wind farms at the scale that they are being built. This is an opportunity for New Bedford residents to gain the credentials and skills needed to access high-quality jobs in the offshore wind industry here in the SouthCoast of Massachusetts.
Bristol Community College’s WindWorks campaign is sharing information on training and career opportunities so that under-represented communities in New Bedford can learn about the offshore wind industry, tap into essential training, and gain the skills that will make our communities competitive with out-of-state workers. Bristol’s National Offshore Wind Institute (NOWI) in New Bedford, along with other training centers in the region, are essential to meeting this goal.
In 2022 Bristol Community College’s National Offshore Wind Institute (NOWI) partnered with New Bedford based community organizations 3rd EyE Unlimited, the Communal Space NB, and Old Bedford Village to bring offshore wind information to New Bedford’s neighborhoods. Additionally, PAACA, Dennison Memorial, and The Boys and Girls Club have collaborated with the WindWorks campaign to raise awareness of training and employment opportunities.
There are a number of wind developers, but three are presently invested in the SouthCoast of Massachusetts. Vineyard Wind, SouthCoast Wind and Commonwealth Wind will each use the Port of New Bedford and surrounding SouthCoast Massachusetts locations to assemble, stage or operate their offshore wind farm leases. These developers have supply chain partners, regional companies who will service the construction and maintenance of each wind farm. A list of supply chain partners can be found at this MassCEC link
Vineyard Wind 1 starts its Construction Phase at the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal in spring 2023. It will take one-and-a-half to two years to build their first wind farm (62 turbines). That will be followed by Vineyard Wind 1’s Operation & Maintenance Phase for the life of the turbines (25-30 years).
SouthCoast Wind will start its Construction Phase at the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal once Vineyard Wind finishes its construction, estimated 2024 – 2025. It will take one to two years to build their wind farm (approx 149 turbines). That will be followed by SouthCoast Wind’s Operation & Maintenance Phase for the life of the turbines (25-30 years).
Vineyard Wind 2 will follow in the same way.
Construction Phase: You will miss the first round of construction starting in spring 2023. But if you start training now, you may be ready for any of the three to five construction periods taking place over this decade. This is ongoing construction work that will take place over 10 years. Visit our Resources page for various Union information.
Operations & Maintenance Phase: Vineyard Wind is presently hiring for Operations & Maintenance. Visit their website for details. Hiring for O&M will conceivably continue over the life of the wind farm. SouthCoast Wind will similarly need to fill O&M positions as their timeline progresses.
GWO – Global Wind Organisation: National Offshore Wind Institute (NOWI) at Bristol Community College and Massachusetts Maritime Academy.
OSHA – Occupational Safety and Health Administration: This will be a future NOWI offering, Voc-Tech schools, unions.
STCW – The International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers: Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Northeast Maritime Academy.
(Please note that certifications listed above have onshore and offshore components integrated into them.)
Connect us today to speak with a NOWI representative about preparing for a career in the Offshore Wind Industry!