Press Release

August 3, 2022
Cardin, U.S. Dept. of Commerce Announce $22.9 Million to Support the Offshore Wind Industry in Maryland Through American Rescue Plan Good Jobs Challenge

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, today announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $22.9 million American Rescue Plan Good Jobs Challenge grant to the Maryland Department of Labor, Baltimore, Maryland, to implement a new apprenticeship model to support the region’s growing offshore wind industry.

This program will partner leading employers and seven local unions to build a training model that meets the needs of employers and local communities. With a focus on formerly incarcerated individuals, veterans, disconnected youth, and other underserved populations, the Maryland Works for Wind project will train thousands of individuals to enter good-paying jobs in the industry.

“The urgent need to shift to clean, renewable energy such as wind energy provides opportunities for American workers to perform the jobs of the future. But we need to invest in our workforce and provide the training and the apprenticeship opportunities to open these doors for aspiring American workers. That’s what this more than $22 million EDA grant announced today, and the American Rescue Plan that made it possible, is all about.” said Senator Ben Cardin. “This is a tremendous win for Maryland and our efforts to prepare workers today and in the future to match the changing needs of the region. The funds will work to establish Maryland as the premiere destination for offshore wind training, fabrication, and employment.”

“President Biden is committed to expanding career opportunities for more Americans to secure good-paying jobs,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This EDA investment will create workforce training programs for the clean energy sector that will help grow Maryland’s offshore wind industry and build resiliency for decades to come.”

“The Biden Administration applauds Maryland Department of Labor’s efforts to boost the state’s growing offshore wind industry,” said Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves. “This EDA investment will create new job training opportunities that will lead to good-paying, clean energy jobs for local workers.”

“The Good Jobs Challenge is bringing together diverse partners and local leaders to advance workforce training programs across the country,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “With partnership from leading employers and labor, this project will provide quality, demand-driven training for workers throughout.”

“Investing in workforce training is crucial to helping Marylanders secure good-paying jobs and to building out our 21st century economy. This targeted $22 million federal grant made possible by the American Rescue Plan will help prepare workers for jobs in offshore wind – a key industry that is not only creating thousands of jobs in Maryland but also moving us forward in our transition to a cleaner, greener future. This is part of our overall strategy to expand opportunity and build an economy with more shared prosperity,” said Senator Chris Van Hollen.

 “The Works for Wind project is an example of the economic promise that has come from the American Rescue Plan,” said Congressman Steny Hoyer (MD-05). “I join in celebrating this new program, which will help train thousands of people across Maryland so that they can earn a good living and access greater opportunities. The time to invest in our clean energy economy is right now, and this program will not only help Marylanders get ahead, but also expand our clean energy economy with good-paying jobs.”

“As Maryland’s economy recovers and rebuilds, the American Rescue Plan harnesses the power of our fastest-growing industries and creates good-paying jobs. Today’s announcement expands access to the cutting-edge workforce training that will help Marylanders thrive in high-demand jobs,” said Congressman John Sarbanes (MD-03). “I will continue working to build a more equitable, diverse clean energy workforce for all Marylanders.”

“This $22.9 million direct investment in our community is another win for the hardworking residents of Maryland, local employers, and our strong union workforce,” said Congressman Kweisi Mfume (MD-07). “With a focus on creating thousands of good-paying clean energy jobs through apprenticeships, this grant meets the moment by targeting and training all populations, including formerly incarcerated individuals. I’m proud to be a member of the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee which played a major role in securing the workforce development, job training, and apprenticeship opportunities in the American Rescue Plan whose legislation provides this historic funding.”

“Building the green, clean future here in Maryland is an incredible opportunity for workers, families and our local economies,” said Congressman Anthony G. Brown (MD-04). “By expanding apprenticeship and workforce development programs we can better engage the diverse talents and communities across our state, deliver good-paying jobs and foster renewable energy sources key to meeting the climate crisis.”

“This grant 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 Maryland and yield an economic impact of nearly $3 billion over the next 20 years in Baltimore and Central Maryland alone,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “I want to sincerely thank Secretary Raimondo and everyone at the U.S. Department of Commerce for recognizing that the State of Maryland truly is open for business, and that we have the tools and the talent necessary to continue building a steady pipeline of well-trained, skilled workers for the jobs of the future.”

This grant is funded through the American Rescue Plan Good Jobs Challenge. The program awarded grants to 32 worker-centered, industry-led workforce training partnerships across the country. The $500 million program is expanding opportunities for more Americans to access and secure good-paying jobs by investing in innovative approaches to advance worker-centered, industry-led workforce training partnerships.

The 32 awardee projects were selected from a competitive pool of 509 applicants. By encouraging grantees to partner with industry and solve for their local talent needs, this program is advancing many growing industries essential to U.S. supply chains, global competitiveness, and regional development, with employers making specific commitments to hire and engage with these worker-centered, industry-led programs. Through a holistic, integrated partnership approach, these projects will provide tangible opportunities and security for American workers, focusing on serving and supporting a broad range of underserved communities and connecting workers with the training, skills, and support services needed to successfully secure a good job.

The Good Jobs Challenge is part of a suite of American Rescue Plan programs developed by EDA to equitably distribute its $3 billion allocation to assist communities nationwide in their efforts to build a better America by accelerating economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and building local economies that will be more resilient to future economic shocks.