Over the next decade, many offshore wind turbines are set to be installed off the coast of the U.S.
“Offshore wind is a growing industry in the United States. There’s a lot of excitement, a lot of different companies, developers coming into the space,” says Jeremy Stefek of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Stefek is an author of a recent report on the workforce needs of this growing industry.
The report finds that offshore wind could create tens of thousands of jobs. But to fill them, people need to learn about the opportunities and get trained with the right skills and expertise.
“A lot of folks don’t know about offshore wind across the United States,” he says.
So Stefek says it’s important to get the word out that there will be opportunities for people with all kinds of backgrounds, from business professionals to engineers to technicians.
He says the industry’s biggest need will be for skilled tradespeople, such as electricians and welders.
So the report highlights the need for more apprenticeship and training programs.
And Stefek says it’s important to make high schoolers aware of potential careers in the skilled trades.
“It’s not oftentimes that you get the opportunity to develop a new industry in the United States,” he says. “So, from my perspective, it’s a really exciting time.”
Reporting credit: Ethan Freedman/ChavoBart Digital Media