Washington, DC – On Wednesday, the House Natural Resources Committee advanced H.R. 3068, The Offshore Wind Jobs and Opportunity Act out of committee. This important piece of legislation, which was authored by Congressman Bill Keating and cosponsored by Congressman Joe Kennedy III, would provide financial support for educational institutions to develop and implement curriculum and training programs that support the creation of a workforce trained for the offshore wind industry.
H.R. 3068 would authorize $25 million dollars annually to eligible institutions including universities, community colleges, and union training programs to ensure that American workers stand ready to take these jobs of the future and to further prepare our workforce to participate in the burgeoning blue economy beyond the installation of wind.
“Southeastern Massachusetts is one of the country’s preeminent hubs of the blue economy,” said Congressman Keating. “And, there are already important programs being launched to develop the workforce needed for the offshore wind industry. In my home town of Bourne, the unveiling of the first in the nation Offshore Wind Training Facility at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy put a unique piece of training infrastructure that will allow students a place to train on the specific safety procedures required by the industry. On Martha’s Vineyard, an innovative partnership between Bristol Community College, Adult Education Martha’s Vineyard, and Vineyard Power is about to launch a course of study to provide high school students, as well as continuing learners, with the opportunity to obtain college credit and job training for the offshore wind industry while on the island. Our community is setting the stage for the rest of the country as we look to a sustainable energy future in the offshore wind sector. The Offshore Wind Jobs and Opportunity Act aims to support and expand these programs here at home in Massachusetts, and to create opportunities for coastal communities across the nation to develop their own workforce as offshore wind projects advance.”
“Offshore wind energy won’t only bring clean, affordable energy to our homes and businesses, it will create jobs and empower local economies throughout New England and across our country,” said Congressman Joe Kennedy. “As this emerging industry continues to grow, we must ensure American workers are prepared to capitalize on this economic opportunity with good jobs, worker protections and the strength and support of labor unions. With the Natural Resources Committee’s passage of the Offshore Wind Jobs and Opportunity Act, we are moving closer to building a Blue Economy that will lift up working families.”