ANNAPOLIS — Gov. Larry Hogan Wednesday joined federal officials at Tradepoint Atlantic to announce the awarding of a $22.9 million American Rescue Plan Good Jobs Challenge grant for the Maryland Department of Labor to implement a new apprenticeship model to support the region’s growing offshore wind industry.
Maryland’s project is one of 32 chosen nationwide out of more than 500 applicants. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo announced the winners earlier Aug. 3.
“This funding will ensure that Maryland employers and job seekers stand ready to meet the demands of the flourishing offshore wind industry, which is expected to create more than 10,000 jobs in the State of Maryland and yield an economic impact of nearly $3 billion over the next 20 years in the Baltimore area and Central Maryland alone,” said Hogan. “I want to sincerely thank Secretary Raimondo, Deputy Secretary Graves, and everyone at the U.S. Department of Commerce for recognizing that the State of Maryland truly is open for business, and that we have the tools and the talent necessary to continue building a steady pipeline of well-trained, skilled workers for these jobs of the future.”
In partnership with leading employers, including Chesapeake Shipbuilding, Crystal Steel Fabricators, US Wind and Ørsted Offshore North America and seven local unions, the Maryland Works For Wind program will build a training model that meets the needs of employers and local communities. With a focus on formerly incarcerated individuals, veterans, disconnected youth and other underserved populations, the Department of Labor will train thousands of individuals to enter well-paying jobs in the industry. Overall, Maryland Works for Wind will place and/or upskill more than 4,300 Marylanders, strategically leverage $30 million in state and employer resources and foster economic activity in 18 of Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions.
“Ørsted is proud to be making significant commitments to develop supply chain, manufacturing, and operations capabilities across Maryland as we develop Skipjack Wind,” said 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.”
The governor was joined at Wednesday’s event by U.S. Department of Commerce Deputy Secretary Don Graves, Maryland Secretary of Labor Tiffany Robinson, Rep. Kweisi Mfume, Rep. John Sarbanes and Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski.
“The Biden Administration applauds Maryland Department of Labor’s efforts to boost the state’s growing offshore wind industry,” said Graves. “This EDA investment will create new job training opportunities that will lead to good-paying, clean energy jobs for local workers.”
“The urgent need to shift to clean, renewable energy such as wind energy provides opportunities for American workers to perform the jobs of the future. But we need to invest in our workforce and provide the training and the apprenticeship opportunities to open these doors for aspiring American workers. That’s what this more than $22 million EDA grant announced today, and the American Rescue Plan that made it possible, is all about,” said Senator Ben Cardin. “This is a tremendous win for Maryland and our efforts to prepare workers today and in the future to match the changing needs of the region. The funds will work to establish Maryland as the premiere destination for offshore wind training, fabrication, and employment.”
“Investing in workforce training is crucial to helping Marylanders secure good-paying jobs and to building out our 21st century economy. This targeted $22 million federal grant made possible by the American Rescue Plan will help prepare workers for jobs in offshore wind – a key industry that is not only creating thousands of jobs in Maryland but also moving us forward in our transition to a cleaner, greener future. This is part of our overall strategy to expand opportunity and build an economy with more shared prosperity,” said Senator Chris Van Hollen.