State officials gathered to mark completion of the state’s first offshore wind training center at the Community College of Rhode Island’s Flanagan Campus. (Courtesy Orsted U.S. X account)
LINCOLN — State leaders and offshore wind developers gathered on Wednesday to mark the end of construction on the first offshore wind training center in Rhode Island.
The “topping off” ceremony was held at the Community College of Rhode Island’s (CCRI) Flanagan Campus in Lincoln, which will house the first-in-Rhode Island Global Wind Organization training certificate program. The training center was funded through a $1 million grant from Orsted A/S and Eversource Energy, co-developers of the Revolution Wind project, and aims to prepare Rhode Island’s workers for jobs in the burgeoning industry.
The training center will open for its first class in the spring of 2024, with a certification program that includes training on first aid, fire awareness, working at heights and sea survival, among other skills. Certifications last for two years after completion.
“The Global Wind Organization training certification program is the gold-standard for offshore wind safety training, and the Community College of Rhode Island’s state-of-the-art facility will give workers exceptional training for a career in offshore wind,” said Patricia DiOrio, senior vice president and head of project development for the Americas region for Orsted.
“The students passing through these doors will be a huge asset to Orsted and the offshore renewable energy industry.”
Construction work for Revolution Wind, a 704-megawatt wind farm planned off the coast of Block Island, is expected to ramp up in 2024 ahead of a targeted 2025 operational date.
CCRI, the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, Rhode Island Commerce, the Rhode Island Building and Construction Trades Council, and Building Futures are also partnering on the program.
The course takes 44 hours to complete, and certification is valid for two years. GWO training is a critical component in ensuring safe working conditions and practices in the industry. Upon completion of the course, graduates will obtain the practical skills needed to perform their job safely and be prepared for the rigors of offshore work.
“Rhode Island is home to a strong and diverse offshore wind supply chain; the result of hard work, smart investments, and collaboration,” RI Commerce Secretary Liz Tanner said in a statement. “This specialized training program will allow us to create new high-quality jobs that will strengthen the state’s workforce and secure Rhode Island’s place as an innovative leader in the offshore wind industry.”
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