R.I. working with Orsted, Eversource to establish offshore wind training program

Published on August 05, 2022 by Dave Kovaleski

© Shutterstock

The state of Rhode Island is working with energy companies Orsted and Eversource on an initiative to educate and prepare Rhode Island’s offshore wind workforce.

The partnership will establish a Global Wind Organization (GWO) training certificate program at the Community College of Rhode Island’s Flanagan campus in Lincoln. The GWO training certificate program is the international standard for offshore wind safety training. It provides participants with safety training for workers engaged in offshore wind farm construction and operations.

Orsted and Eversource, the two companies developing Revolution Wind, an offshore wind project serving Rhode Island and Connecticut, are supporting this initiative with a $1 million grant. They are working in partnership with Gov. Dan McKee, along with the Community College of Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, Rhode Island Commerce, the Rhode Island Building and Construction Trades Council and Building Futures.

“Rhode Island has momentum, and that is evident by this major workforce development initiative – it is a true collaboration between higher education, labor, and the workforce,” said Gov. McKee. “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.”

The course, which takes 44 hours to complete, will open for enrollment in early 2023. The certification is valid for two years. Graduates of the course will have the skills needed to perform their job safely and handle the rigors of offshore work.

“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, CEO and president of Eversource Energy, said. “Today’s $1 million investment is building a safe and inclusive workforce in Rhode Island that will play a critical role in advancing the state’s blue economy and accelerate the transformation to a clean energy future we can all be proud of.”

Further, the 704-megawatt Revolution Wind project is providing funding to the Department of Labor and Training for offshore wind career training for workers in the construction of offshore wind projects.

“Rhode Island workers helped launch America’s offshore wind industry. Now, with this major initiative, we’re partnering with the Rhode Island building trades and state leaders in higher ed and workforce development to ensure Rhode Islanders have the training and skills they need to help build the state’s clean energy future,” David Hardy, CEO of Orsted Offshore North America, said.