Renewables

OPITO and NOWI Partners to Support Skills and Safety in the US Offshore Wind Sector

OPITO, a leading global safety and skills organization for the energy industry, and the National Offshore Wind Institute (NOWI), based at Bristol Community College in Massachusetts, have today (Wednesday 27th April) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which will support thousands of new jobs in the growing U.S. offshore wind energy sector.

Under the terms of the MoU, OPITO will work with NOWI to optimize workforce development and provide skills and safety training for the emerging New Bedford Port cluster in South Massachusetts and its pipeline of offshore wind projects.  

The U.S. Department of Energy forecasts that the sector will employ 43,000 people on the eastern seaboard alone by 2030, and predicts a huge demand for a new, skilled offshore wind workforce to meet future project requirements.    

In response to this and similar workforce trends being mirrored globally, OPITO created its Energy Transition team in 2021 to lead the development of innovative workforce standards, training and products to support the energy transition and decarbonization agenda.   

Established in 2020, NOWI aims to be recognized as a national hub for training and certificating the emerging offshore wind sector off the Massachusetts coast.   

Andy Williamson, Head of Energy Transition at OPITO said:   

“OPITO is delighted to enter into partnership with NOWI to collaborate on workforce development for this important industry and provide our globally recognized skills and safety standards.  We already have a long track record of keeping energy workers in the U.S. safe through our work with the oil and gas industry and will continue to build on this with the offshore wind industry.   

“OPITO also has more than 50 years of experience operating in the UK, which has created the world’s most active offshore wind market and installed the most capacity globally. We look forward to sharing best practices in training and skills development to optimize the U.S. offshore wind market and create employment opportunities now, and in future.   

“This is a hugely exciting time for offshore wind in this region, and the skills and training put in place now will create a strong and sustainable industry for future generations.”    

Jennifer Menard, VP Economic & Business Development at NOWI said:  

“The National Offshore Wind Institute at Bristol Community College is very proud of its industrial partnerships. The relationship with OPITO is one of several long-term arrangements we are looking to put in place with key players in the offshore wind sector. It will also complement the long-standing relationship we have with our development partner, Maersk Training, as we look to establish the NOWI as the pre-eminent offshore wind workforce development center of excellence on the east coast of the U.S. The relationship with OPITO will position the NOWI for floating offshore wind in the same way as our relationship with GWO does for fixed bottom. To be working with both organizations is very exciting. The STEM focus will, we hope, fire the imaginations of future generations to develop rewarding careers in the offshore wind industry. We see this as a key role of the NOWI.”  

OPITO’s commitment to supporting the energy transition is underlined by its global STEM program, which it will roll out with Bristol Community College’s NOWI alongside workforce development. OPITO believes that the way to encourage the future leaders of the Energy industry and the next generation of engineers and scientists is to encourage young people to get involved in hands-on STEM activities that are engaging, entertaining and informative.  

The MoU was announced at the IPF conference in New Jersey where both OPITO and NOWI are exhibiting.   

IPF is the largest offshore wind energy conference in North America. Hosted by the Business Network for Offshore Wind, IPF connects global leaders and businesses in the supply chain, offers networking opportunities, and delivers updates on the industry, from technology to policy.

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