By Kiernan Dunlop
Posted May 10, 2019 at 3:12 PM
Updated May 10, 2019 at 6:12 PM
Offshore wind training programs just got a boost in the SouthCoast. Vineyard Wind and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, on behalf of the Baker-Polito administration, announced six recipients of offshore wind workplace training grants at a news conference on Friday.
Recipients of the over $720,0000 in grants included Bristol Community College, Cape Cod Community College, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, UMass Amherst, Adult Continuing Education- Martha’s Vineyard, and Pile Drivers and Divers Local 56 trade union.
“As we prepare for the construction and installation of offshore wind projects, these grants will help establish a network of critical training programs in the Commonwealth to support local workers as they build this new frontier for American energy,” said Gov. Charlie Baker in a statement.
Speakers at the city’s Marine Commerce Terminal included politicians and representatives from MassCEC and Vineyard Wind, whose speeches all touched on their desire to make Massachusetts the epicenter of the offshore wind industry.
“This is an effort that started a while ago,” said MassCEC CEO Stephen Pike, “and the entire focus of Mass CEC over the last 10 years in terms of offshore wind is to ensure that we make New Bedford, Fall River, Somerset, and the Cape and the islands really the focal point for the industry in the United States.”
Mayor Jon Mitchell took it one step further saying that New Bedford should be the center of the industry in Massachusetts.
“We in New Bedford see ourselves as the linchpin of it all,” said Mitchell. “For Massachusetts to be competitive, it needs a very competitive port. New Bedford is an all-purpose port.”
The mayor also listed workforce training as one of the necessary steps the SouthCoast needs to take “for the industry to say, ‘you know what, that’s where we want to be.’”
“The programs, the likes of which BCC has been working on for years now … really will help the industry understand that New Bedford is the place to be,” Mitchell said.
The $200,000 of the funding for the grants came from the $2 million Vineyard Wind committed to workforce training, according to Eric Stevens, chief development officer for Vineyard Wind.
“We committed to using (our) project to make Massachusetts the home of the best trained, most experienced offshore wind force in the country … today we are here taking a first step, following through on that commitment.”
The two grantees that will have the most impact on city residents are BCC and the trade union.
BCC was awarded $200,000 to establish basic safety training and basic technical training to Global Wind Organization (GWO) standards at its campus in New Bedford.
BCC President Laura L. Douglas said as one of the largest providers of workforce development education in Massachusetts, it was necessary to get in on the offshore wind industry.
“We know that if we are going to continue to be the workforce giant of this region, we need to be a provider in GWO training,” said Douglas.
The training they will be able to provide with this grant is only the start of BCC’s plans, said Douglas.
“What we’re looking to do is develop a new facility on the waterfront for this training so it will be convenient for the supply chain and for developers,” noted Douglas.
Though the trade unions are based out of Boston, they plan to use their $100,000 to train approximately 45 individuals at Mass Maritime, said Business Manager David Borrus, and he would not be surprised if 25 to 40% of those individuals come from SouthCoast.
“We just took two citizens of New Bedford, young men who are already skilled … into our four-year apprentice training program,” said Borrus in reference to a program that includes offshore wind training.
Resident John “Buddy” Andrade said he helped get the two men into the program and will continue his work to ensure individuals from minority groups have the opportunity to get this training.
“Today was a big day.” said Andrade. “I’m happy.”
Pike addressed minorities during the conference.
“Something we want to ensure is that this industry serves the entirety of the population,” said Pike, “so we’ll certainly be focusing on including and incorporating more women, more minorities, more veterans and underserved communities throughout the SouthCoast.”
Pike closed the conference by assuring the crowd that these grants are just the beginning.
“We would expect to be running another solicitation looking to fund additional projects and initiatives next year,” said Pike, and because they work on public sector schedule, the next fiscal year starts July 1.
By the numbers
The institutions receiving funding are:
Bristol Community College: $200,000 to establish basic safety training (BST) and basic technical training (BTT) to Global Wind Organization (GWO) standards at its campus in New Bedford.
Massachusetts Maritime Academy: $184,000 to establish all five modules of GWO basic safety training at its campus and develop an “introduction to offshore wind” course for MMA cadets. A crew transfer training facility, supported by MassCEC, will be operational in Summer 2019.
UMass Amherst: $105, 500 to complete initial design and develop most of an offshore wind professional certificate program to be offered at the Mt. Ida campus in Newton.
Pile Drivers and Divers Local 56: $100,000 to sponsor trade union members for GWO basic safety training at Massachusetts Maritime Academy.
Cape Cod Community College: $66,570 to develop and deliver a suite of courses to introduce students and workers to careers in offshore wind.
Adult Continuing Education – Martha’s Vineyard (ACE MV): $65,000 to partner with BCC and MMA to provide on-island courses and training that supports basic safety and technical certification, as well as offshore wind technician certificates.
Source: Massachusetts Clean Energy Center
Follow Kiernan Dunlop on Twitter @KiernanD_SCT
Original story here.
By The Standard-Times
Posted Feb 28, 2019 at 11:50 AM
Updated Feb 28, 2019 at 10:15 PM
BOSTON — The state awarded $6.4 million in grants Wednesday, including $390,000 for projects in SouthCoast for revitalization and business development.
Seaport Economic Council grants awarded include $150,000 for the creation of a regional marine science and technology collaborative to encourage growth in relevant industries at UMass Dartmouth and the SouthCoast Development Partnership and $240,000 for planning of the redevelopment of a waterfront property in New Bedford.
“This region’s historic connection to the ocean is a powerful unifying asset,” said Hugh Dunn, Executive Director of Economic Development at UMD, in a statement. “This project is designed to identify and marshal our marine economy assets to expand economic opportunity. To date, nothing of this scale has been executed on the Atlantic Coast.”
The funding will create an environment where relevant regional institutions, businesses, and universities can collaboratively develop the Southeastern Massachusetts Marine Science and Technology Corridor, according to a news release.
“I want to thank the Baker-Polito Administration for supporting UMass Dartmouth and our region as we develop our blue economy corridor from Rhode Island to Cape Cod,” said UMD Chancellor Robert E. Johnson in a statement. “In awarding this grant, the Seaport Economic Council is demonstrating the Commonwealth’s commitment to an industry sector that can transform our economy.”
Over three years, the project will develop a plan and build support through the Corridor Alliance to diversify and expand economic opportunities from fishing and seasonal tourism industries to jobs in engine and turbine manufacturing, wind and hydro power generation, nautical systems manufacturing, and coastal water transportation technologies.
“These investments into New Bedford’s waterfront alongside efforts spearheaded by UMass Dartmouth will bolster the ongoing work to develop a burgeoning maritime economy capable of significant job creation and economic development,” said State Sen. Montigny of New Bedford in a statement. “I look forward to the future development of our city’s most vital asset and the Seaport Council’s continued support.”
The New Bedford Port Authority will use its grant toward planning for redevelopment of the Sprague/Eversource site, according to Port Director Edward Anthes-Washburn. The Port Authority will look at the condition of the bulkhead and work with the private sector on reuse of the property, which is a key component of the central waterfront, he said. The plan will probably not involve the city buying the property, he said.
“We appreciate the council’s funding and the support from the delegation,” he said in an interview.
The 29-acre waterfront property has direct water access. By encouraging diverse and sustainable use of the property, the NBPA will support and create jobs in traditional and emerging blue industries, and create opportunities for the public to connect with the waterfront.
“I thank the Council and the administration for supporting this ongoing planning effort, which is necessary if we are to protect and enhance access to New Bedford’s shoreside assets by the fishing industry and other industrial and recreational uses in the harbor,” said State Rep. Bill Straus of Mattapoisett in a statement.
“The hard working folks in my District who make their living on our waterfront appreciate the support of the Seaport Economic Council and the Baker Administration,” said State Rep. Chris Hendricks of New Bedford. “Grants like this will ensure that we have the tools in hand to improve economic opportunities for the residents of New Bedford and beyond.”
Across the state, the grants will support development that stimulates the expansion and modernization of the maritime sector, research that prepares for shifts in climate and industry, and educational programs that increase participation in the blue economy. The grants were approved at a Seaport Economic Council meeting, chaired by Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito at South Boston’s Flynn Cruiseport, according to the release.
Additional awards impacting SouthCoast include:
Massachusetts Maritime Academy, $1,000,000: Seaport Economic Council funding will support the creation of a coastal emergency management simulator. The simulator will provide a training platform for undergraduate and graduate emergency management students, and assist coastal communities statewide in developing and strengthening disaster preparation, mitigation, response, and recovery efforts.
University of Massachusetts System, $276,854: Seaport Economic Council funding will enable the University of Massachusetts to further enhance the fishing industry’s contribution to the economy of the Commonwealth. UMass will leverage the diverse expertise and research capacity of its five campuses to take an innovative, multidisciplinary approach, addressing aspects of the seafood economy ranging from habitat and fishery management to marketing and economic forces. In so doing, Massachusetts will be able to improve its fishing industry by both reinvigorating traditional components of the system, including diversifying catches and increasing consumption of locally caught fish, and supporting the growth of emerging segments, such as value-added products, waste recovery, fuel-efficient boats, environmental restoration, research initiatives, cultural activities, downtown development, and heritage tourism.