Letter to the Editor

printed 09/02/2022


The Lower Shore Workforce Alliance (LSWA), which provides job training opportunities to residents of the Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland, and US Wind, Delmarva’s leading offshore wind developer, both recognize the need for serious investment in workforce development as the lower shore prepares to be a major participant in the U.S. offshore wind industry.

LSWA, a division of the Tri-County Council for the Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland (TCC), implements and coordinates training and employment programs operated throughout the lower shore that enable eligible participants to become economically self-sufficient and productive members of the community.

Offshore wind presents an unprecedented opportunity for the region, both in the development of a homegrown source of clean, renewable energy and in the development of a local workforce to power this new domestic industry. LSWA is excited to work with leaders like US Wind to train Marylanders on the Lower Shore to build out a regional supply chain.

An important component in this effort is the U.S. Department of Commerce’s $22.9 million award to the state of Maryland for the “Maryland Works for Wind” program. This initiative is focused on training Marylanders for the coming offshore wind industry — removing barriers for those who have been historically left out and preparing thousands of workers for good-paying, clean energy jobs.

LSWA, in partnership with Maryland Department of Labor, has received funds to develop the offshore wind workforce throughout the lower Eastern Shore. US Wind has thrown their support behind this effort and has expressed its intentions to partner with other Maryland employers, organizations, labor unions, and minority-owned businesses in developing a local workforce for this 21st Century industry.

Already, US Wind has committed to supporting diverse communities holding several MBE community outreach events with organizations throughout the Eastern Shore. Such engagement will reach more than 8,000 certified Maryland-based MBE firms to inform and encourage participation in their projects and offshore wind development generally.

Building on the groundswell of support for this clean energy resource, LSWA and US Wind will be holding an informational workshop this fall that will focus on providing interested businesses and workers on the lower shore a pathway for getting involved in the offshore wind industry, including the specific workforce development needs that exist.

The meeting will also include discussion on new tourism-related jobs, offshore wind industry trends, best practices, and leveraging community resources. Expected attendees include Arcon Training Center, Crystal Steel, Wor-Wic Community College, University of Maryland, Eastern Shore, workforce development experts, local county and municipal officials, and business and industry leaders.

We look forward to supporting workforce development in the offshore wind energy sector for decades to come.

— Bob Hendricks

(Bob Hendricks is the Business Services Manager for the Lower Shore Workforce Alliance, a Division of the Tri-County Council for the Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland.)

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