Rhode Island training program to support offshore wind sector

(The Center Square) – Rhode Island residents seeking employment in offshore wind will benefit from a new training program.

Gov. Dan McKee, along with labor and higher education officials and officials from Orsted and Eversource, announced Wednesday a new partnership that brings together higher education, workforce development, and labor organizations that is designed to provide state residents with the education and training necessary to work in the energy sector.

“Our state has a historic, once-in-a-generation opportunity before us to capitalize on its position as the leader in wind and renewable energy, creating good-paying jobs and protecting Rhode Island’s future, while being well-positioned to lead the way in fighting the climate crisis,” McKee said in a release.

The Community College of Rhode Island, according to the release, is partnering with the state’s Department of Labor and Training, Rhode Island Commerce, the state’s Building and Construction Trades Council and Building Futures and will benefit from a $1 million investment from Revolution Wind. Revolution Wind is the name of Orsted and Eversource’s offshore wind project encompassing Rhode Island and Connecticut.

According to the release, the $1 million in funding is a portion of the $4.5 million commitment the state has made to support education, workforce training, and supply chain development in the state that will support the energy sector.

The Global Wind Organization training partnership, according to the release, will be offered at the Flanagan campus of the Community College of Rhode Island in Lincoln. The program, which is the international standard for offshore wind safety training, will provide workers training in first aid, manual handling, fire awareness, working at heights, and sea survival.

David Hardy, who serves as chief executive officer of Orsted OffShore North American, said the program will help launch the offshore wind industry in the state.

“We are working to launch a new domestic industry in Rhode Island, and across the region, that will provide well-paying jobs, deliver clean, renewable energy, and help mitigate the worst impacts of climate change,” Joe Nolan said in the release. He’s chief executive officer and president of Eversource Energy.

The program will be open, according to the release, to all individuals seeking employment in offshore wind and provide them with a training certificate. The program is expected to open in early 2023 and consists of 44 hours to complete a certification that would be valid for two years.

According to the release, the 704-megawatt Revolution Wind project is estimated to create thousands of direct, indirect, and induced jobs for the construction and operational phases of the project.

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