Approximately 200 leaders and members from the offshore wind industry and related fields recently gathered for a networking and collaboration event held by the Maritime Center for Responsible Energy (MCRE) at Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA).
A fully accredited state university offering bachelor and master of science degrees that are respected in the worldwide maritime industry, MMA was the first in the nation to offer the Global Wind Organisation’s Offshore Wind Training. Since 2019, more than 400 successful participants have taken the course.
Captain Michael Burns, director of the MCRE, addressed the crowd, acknowledging how far the wind industry has come and continues to grow. The emerging industry has been identified as a significant provider of renewable energy to meet the needs of communities along America’s coastlines, in addition to the economic prospects it offers to southeastern Massachusetts and the Cape and Islands.
Another sign pointing to the growth of the industry: the increasing number of offshore wind-related companies recruiting students at the recent MMA spring career fair. They included Vineyard Wind, Eversource, National Grid, Siemens Energy, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and Edison Chouest.
Simultaneously, the opportunities for graduates within the industry have increased rapidly, as evidenced by the numerous MMA cadets who have in the past or are currently working co-op or full-time at companies such as Vineyard Wind, Orsted, Guice Offshore LLC and Crowley Maritime Corp.
“It was a pleasure to ‘talk offshore wind’ in an informal atmosphere,” says Rear Admiral Francis X. McDonald, USMS, president of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy. “This burgeoning field will not only provide clean, domestic renewable energy, it also opens the doors for a wide range of employment opportunities.”