New Training Program Aids Business Entry into the Growing Offshore Wind Industry

(Credit: iStock photo/vlastas)

The Business Network for Offshore Wind has launched a virtual training course designed to help U.S.-based businesses expand into the growing offshore wind industry – an industry that has received focused attention in the first month of the Biden Administration.

blobid0 1595535687872The Network’s Foundation 2 Blade training program ensures businesses have the tools and information they need to capitalize on the expanding market. A recent executive order included doubling offshore wind energy in the U.S. in the next ten years and builds off goals set by several pioneering states as a way to address climate change and create well-paying U.S.-based jobs.

The offshore wind energy industry is one of the fastest growing renewable energies in the U.S. and globally. As an industry in its infancy in the U.S., it will require companies currently in industries from oil and gas, boating and transportation, and aerospace to civil engineering, composites, and steel manufacturing to diversify into offshore wind. This diversification will create a local supply chain that can meet the growing demand and project pipeline along the East, West, and Gulf Coasts.

“This year will be marked as the year offshore wind energy established itself as the next great American industry,” said Liz Burdock, president and CEO of the Business Network, a non-profit focused on developing offshore wind renewable energy in the U.S. “The Network created the Foundation 2 Blade training program to help companies leverage the economic, job-creating benefits the offshore wind industry has to offer – it’s only going to get bigger and a local supply chain is essential to that growth.”

Foundation 2 Blade (F2B) is an extensive training program created to help companies identify where they fit into the growing offshore wind supply chain and create more opportunities to capitalize on prospective leads. F2B’s training course features six modules that demystify the supply chain, spur innovation, and present a market entry path for a company. F2B industry training programs will be held virtually in four, half-day training classes. Programs are currently available in March, May, and June and will be capped at 30 students per course. Students will receive 20 hours of instruction, a F2B training manual, PDF classroom handouts, and access to supplemental educational videos.

In late 2020, the Business Network successfully partnered with the State of Rhode Island – home to the U.S.’s first offshore wind project – to provide F2B training to local businesses as it prepares for a new offshore wind project 14 times larger than Block Island. New projects in Rhode Island, New York, and New Jersey, along with other anticipated projects and a renewed focus by the federal government on renewable energy, are already attracting millions in local investment.

“With encouraging federal and state governments, the industry is in a race to develop the infrastructure needed to grow, from expanding local supply chains, ordering new ships, and port infrastructure buildout to ensure construction on wind projects can begin next year. That means local companies need to position themselves today to take advantage of this rare opportunity,” said Burdock.

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