[By: Massachusetts Maritime Academy]
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Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA), a leader in offshore wind training, is the recipient of a $1 million award provided by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC). This funding will be used for the expansion, design, development, and implementation of an Offshore Wind Vessel Simulation and Training Center.
“The clean energy industry will bring valuable jobs to residents across Massachusetts,” said Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll, when announcing the grant recipients on August 29th at Pipefitters Local 537 in Dorchester.
The $1 million funding awarded to MMA will allow development of the Academy’s Offshore Wind Vessel Simulation and Training Center (OWVSTC), a facility that will serve to create, support, and increase offshore wind development initiatives while delivering workforce training for offshore wind to workers and students with an emphasis on expanding opportunities for underrepresented populations. The project will look to design and install a full-service simulation platform capable of training a range of functions related to offshore wind support vessels from basic tug handling maneuvers for maritime related trainees to advanced seamanship methods for master mariners.
The OWVSTC will provide educational and training programs for the skilled trade and labor unions, K-12 dual enrollment and extended learning programs, undergraduate and continuing education programming, and professional training. It is expected to be operational in 2024.
“Strengthening a dynamic and inclusive clean energy workforce is vitally important to reaching our state’s climate targets. These awards stand at the intersection of the climate crisis, environmental justice, and economic development,” said Governor Maura Healey. “These awards empower our communities and residents to actively join this clean energy transition by creating pathways that offer accessible entry points into valuable careers, ultimately creating a diverse, inclusive and robust workforce.”
“We are grateful to the Healey-Driscoll Administration and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center for providing the funding to move forward with this important project,” said Rear Admiral Francis X. McDonald, USMS, president of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy. “With 75% of the Academy’s student population from Massachusetts and more than 85% from the New England region, we are focused on offering programs that result in opportunities for career and economic success within our region.”
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The Academy is one of more than 40 organizations in receipt of a total of $18 million from the Healey-Driscoll Administration to drive equitable clean energy workforce development. The grants have been awarded to organizations that are focused on lowering barriers faced by underserved and unrepresented populations entering the clean energy workforce, introducing young people to clean energy careers, providing essential training for climate critical fields and supporting minority- and women-owned businesses entering and expanding in the clean energy sector – all in an effort to form the strong, skilled, inclusive workforce that is essential to achieving the Commonwealth’s climate goals in 2030 and 2050.
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