Maryland will use federal funding to create apprenticeships in energy sector

(The Center Square) – Training residents for the anticipation of more than 10,000 future jobs in Maryland’s energy sector is the focus of a new program.

Gov. Larry Hogan announced Thursday the state has received $22.9 million through the American Rescue Plan Good Jobs Challenge. Funding will be distributed through the state’s Department of Labor to create apprenticeship programs to supply the state’s offshore wind sector with employees.

“This funding will ensure that Maryland employers and jobseekers stand ready to meet the demands of the flourishing offshore wind industry, which is expected to create more than 10,000 jobs in the State of Maryland and yield an economic impact of nearly $3 billion over the next 20 years in the Baltimore area and Central Maryland alone,” Hogan said in the release.

Maryland’s program was one of 23 winners that were chosen from across the country of more than 500 applicants, according to the release.

The partnership includes Chesapeake Shipbuilding, Crystal Fleet Steel Fabricators, US Wind, and Orsted Offshore North American, seven local unions, and the Maryland Works for Wind program. Construction of a training model that would be designed to meet employers’ needs will be assembled through the partners.

The program, according to the release, will place a focus on individuals who were formerly incarcerated, veterans, disconnected youth, and various other underserved populations. Future workers will be trained in the skills necessary to earn well-paying jobs in the industry.

According to the release, the Maryland Works for Wind organization is working to place, or upskill, more than 4,300 residents, and will also work to garner $30 million in resources from the state and employers. The organization plans to bolster economic growth in 18 of the state’s 24 jurisdictions, which includes all 23 counties and the city of Baltimore.

The state plans, according to the release, to use the P-TECH education model to give younger residents the chance to earn a no-cost, two-year associate degree that would be combined with their high school education, and open opportunities for internships.

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