Kaine Cosponsors Legislation to Support Offshore Wind Job Training
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Tim Kaine cosponsored the Offshore Wind Jobs and Opportunity Act to address the needs of the offshore wind industry and train new and incumbent workers through a new grant program. The legislation directs the Department of Energy to first identify the offshore wind industry’s needs by engaging with stakeholders, including labor, institutions of higher education, industry, ports, and state and local governments. Based on this initial industry workforce gap analysis, a grant program would be created to support training new and incumbent workers, provide tuition assistance, and support apprenticeship programs. The legislation was first introduced by Senators Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Tom Carper (D-DE), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD).
“Virginia communities like Hampton Roads, one of the world’s largest natural harbors and home to military installations critical to our national security, are extremely vulnerable to sea level rise. It’s clear that moving toward a clean energy future is vital to address the impacts of climate change and protect our communities,” said Senator Kaine. “That’s why I’m proud to co-sponsor the Offshore Wind Jobs and Opportunity Act, legislation to help advance our offshore wind industry and create thousands of good-paying jobs across the Commonwealth and our nation. This bill will boost our clean energy economy, train our workforce for the jobs of the future, and protect our environment.”
The grant program would authorize $25 million a year from Fiscal Year 2022 through 2026. This piece of legislation would help the Department of the Interior, Energy, and Commerce meet its goal of deploying 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030 and create tens of thousands of jobs in American coastal communities.
At least 25 percent of the grants awarded in any single year would be required to go to registered apprenticeship programs, and the Offshore Wind Jobs and Opportunity Act would also prioritize veterans, dislocated workers, partnerships made with labor organizations, and individuals with barriers to employment.
To read the bill text, click here.
This legislation is supported by BlueGreen Alliance, American Clean Power Association, and National Ocean Industries Association.