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Bristol Community College awarded $861,097 to begin National Offshore Wind Institute training program

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Bristol Community College will launch an innovative training experience leading to the safety and technical certifications required for careers in the United States offshore wind industry.

Bristol was awarded $861,097 from the Baker-Polito Administration’s announcement on Tuesday, February 25, 2020, of $14.6 million in funding of Massachusetts Skills Capital Grants to 54 academic institutions, to acquire the newest technologies and most up-to-date equipment to best educate students and expand career education opportunities.

“Bristol’s recent Skills Capital Grant supports the college’s commitment to being a leader of innovative offshore wind energy training, with cutting-edge technology and expert faculty,” said Bristol Community College President Dr. Laura L. Douglas. “Bristol is proud to provide the in-demand technical skills and safety training required for high-paying careers in this emerging industry.”

Bristol Community College is implementing the college’s National Offshore Wind Institute (NOWI) to offer basic safety training and basic technical training programs certified by the Global Wind Organization. The Skills Capital Grant will supply Bristol’s NOWI with the training equipment necessary to offer these specialized certifications and achieve Global Wind Organization accreditation; essential to NOWI becoming a leader in offshore wind training.

NOWI’s basic safety training modules include the areas of first aid, manual handling, fire awareness, working at heights and sea survival, whereas the basic technical training courses focus on hydraulics, mechanical and electrical concepts, in regard to offshore wind.

Massachusetts Skills Capital Grants are awarded by Governor Baker’s Workforce Skills Cabinet which was created in 2015 and brought together the Secretariats of Education, Labor and Workforce Development, and Housing and Economic Development to align education, economic development and workforce policies, and to strategize how to meet employers’ demand for skilled workers in every region of the state.
The competitive grants are awarded to educational institutions that demonstrate partnerships with local businesses as well as align curriculum and credentials with industry demand in order to maximize hiring opportunities in each region of the state. The 2018 Economic Development Bill, filed by the Governor and passed by the Legislature, established an additional $75 million in Skills Capital Grant funding.

The US Department of Energy estimates 43,000 new jobs will be created in the offshore wind market by 2030. The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center recently published an assessment of the jobs and economic impacts associated with development of 1,600 megawatts in Massachusetts. That study estimated that over the next decade, offshore wind farms will create nearly 3,000 jobs and generate economic impacts between $1.2B and $2.1B in the region.

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