Following a $22.9 million federal investment by the U.S. Department of Commerce and State of Maryland in the state’s offshore wind workforce training, Ørsted, the developer of Skipjack Wind in Maryland, has pledged to work closely with state leaders to prepare Maryland residents for its offshore wind workforce.
The State of Maryland, through the Maryland Department of Labor, will utilize the funds to create Maryland Works for Wind, a regional consortium to establish the state as a key hub for offshore wind training, fabrication and employment.
Ørsted is investing nearly $735 million in Maryland and creating thousands of local jobs during Skipjack Wind’s development and operation. As part of this effort, Ørsted is committing $10 million to STEM education and workforce development programs in the state. These programs will convene Maryland colleges, universities, community colleges, school systems, registered apprenticeship programs, pre-apprenticeship programs and community organizations to ensure the industry’s opportunities are available equitably and sustainably.
“Ørsted is proud to be making significant commitments to develop supply chain, manufacturing, and operations capabilities across Maryland as we develop Skipjack Wind,” says David Hardy, CEO of Ørsted Offshore North America. “The Maryland Works for Wind initiative positions the state to build a pipeline of skilled talent to support Skipjack Wind’s development and other projects in the U.S. and globally. Ørsted is excited to work with the Maryland Department of Labor and its partners to ensure all Marylanders have access to the skills needed to secure good-paying jobs in offshore wind.”
Building on Ørsted’s agreement with the North American Building Trades Union, and the Baltimore – D.C. Metro Building and Construction Trades Council, Ørsted is working in partnership with organized labor to build Skipjack Wind’s onshore and offshore construction, and ensure those who are building this clean energy infrastructure are paid decent wages, work in a safe environment and have a voice on the job.
Ørsted is also partnering with Tradepoint Atlantic to build Maryland’s first offshore wind staging center. Ørsted invested $13.2 million in port infrastructure upgrades for handling offshore wind components such as nacelles, blades and towers, and will develop 50 additional acres for the laydown, storage and assembly of components. Ørsted will also enable the development of a subsea array cable and turbine tower manufacturing facilities in Maryland to serve offshore wind projects in the U.S. and globally, generating hundreds of millions of dollars in local investment and creating hundreds of local jobs.
On Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Ørsted entered into a $70 million supply agreement to establish Maryland’s first offshore wind steel fabrication center at Crystal Steel Fabricators and will construct Maryland’s first zero-emissions operations and maintenance facility in west Ocean City.