Yesterday, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Bethany Card, and Massachusetts Clean Energy Center CEO (MassCEC) Jennifer Daloisio joined Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA) officials for a Global Wind Organisation (GWO) training demonstration at the academy.

Nearly three years since helping launch MMA’s first-in-the-nation offshore wind crew transfer training facility, Gov. Baker returned to observe a wind and life raft training and highlight the investments the Baker-Polito Administration is proposing to further expand the offshore wind workforce.  

“Massachusetts is a nationwide leader in the clean energy industry, and we must keep investing in important training infrastructure to continue making strides in our climate strategy,” said Baker. “The MMA is doing important work to ensure that the Commonwealth has a skilled workforce pipeline and we were pleased to file the FORWARD bill to build on these efforts by proposing additional funding for programs at the MMA, putting a greater focus on workforce training to support the clean energy industry.”

The legislation, An Act Investing in Future Opportunities for Resiliency, Workforce, and Revitalized Downtowns (FORWARD), includes $1.2 billion in funds for climate resiliency and preservation efforts including a $750 million clean energy fund. This fund would be utilized for a variety of areas, such as the expansion of the MassCEC Wind Technology Testing Center in Charlestown, investments related to the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal, and for industry training programs at the MMA. 

“This is a wide-ranging bill that provides clean energy innovation and climate resiliency opportunities to communities across the Commonwealth," said Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito. “We have made great progress towards our wind and economic development, and seeing the safety programs trainees are completing at the MMA demonstrates the importance of preparing our workforce for a burgeoning industry.”

“The Commonwealth must build on its clean energy and workforce development, and the FORWARD Act helps further our efforts,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Bethany Card. “Partnerships with entities like MassCEC, MMA, Vineyard Wind, and Mayflower Wind support our initiative of fostering a cleaner Commonwealth that includes economic and environmental technological advancements, and we believe we are on the right track to develop projects that lead us to a clean energy future.”

“The construction of wind farms off the coast of our Commonwealth represents thousands of well-paid jobs for residents of Massachusetts and the promise of a sustainable clean energy future,” said Massachusetts Clean Energy Center CEO Jennifer Daloisio. “Our partnership with MMA is one of the ways we are reaching our goal of developing a well-trained, highly-skilled, and equitable workforce.”

“The FORWARD Act is a shining example of the incredible vision of the Baker-Polito Administration,” said President of Massachusetts Maritime Academy Rear Adm. Francis X. McDonald. “These unmatched investments in, and unwavering commitment to, clean energy stand to serve the citizens of the Commonwealth for decades to come, and Massachusetts Maritime is proud to be in a position to support that vision."

The MMA is the first facility in the nation to offer all five modules of GWO Basic Safety Training consisting of Working at Heights, First Aid, Fire Awareness, Manual Handling, and Sea Survival. More than 150 participants have completed training that helped prepare and control possible hazards they could face when working in the wind industry. The MMA has received four MassCEC offshore wind workforce grants totaling over $750,000.