Maryland gets federal grant for job training in offshore wind industry

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Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan joined federal officials at Tradepoint Atlantic to announce the awarding of a $22.9 million American Rescue Plan Good Jobs Challenge grant for the Maryland Department of Labor to launch a new apprenticeship model to support the offshore wind industry. Maryland’s project is one of 32 chosen nationwide out of more than 500 applicants. Delaware did not have a successful entry.

While much of the manufacturing will take place in Baltimore, the windpower program is expected to create jobs on th Eastern Shore of Maryland, since both the US Wind and Ørsted’s wind farms will be off about 17 miles off the coasts of Maryland and Delaware and some fabrication will take place in that area.

The Biden Administration has opened up an area about 20 miles off the Delaware coast for possible wind power development. The site does not include artificial reefs created by sunken vessels that attract marine life.

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Powerlines from one or both of the Maryland wind farms are likely to come ashore in Delaware.

Both US Wind and Ørsted have stated that the projects will benefit Delaware workers and the state’s economy, even though the wind farm electricity will be counted toward Maryland’s renewable energy mandates.

In partnership with employers—including Chesapeake Shipbuilding, Crystal Steel Fabricators, US Wind, and Ørsted Offshore North America—and seven local unions, the Maryland Works For Wind program will build a training model that meets the needs of employers and local communities. With a focus on formerly incarcerated individuals, veterans, disconnected youth, and other populations, the program will train thousands of individuals to get well-paying jobs in the industry, a release stated.

Maryland Works for Wind is projected to place and/or upskill more than 4,300 Marylanders, strategically leverage $30 million in state and employer resources, and foster economic activity in 18 of Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions, the release noted.

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