Ørsted and US Labor Union Kick-Start Offshore Wind Workforce Transition

Ørsted and North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop the next generation offshore wind workforce in the U.S.

The partnership will create a national agreement designed to transition U.S. union construction workers into the offshore wind industry, in collaboration with the leadership of the 14 U.S. NABTU affiliates and the AFL-CIO.

Ørsted and NABTU, along with their affiliates and state and local councils, have also agreed to work together on long-term strategic plans for the balanced and sustainable development of Ørsted’s offshore wind projects.

This planning effort is expected to help ensure that site and state-specific programming will be ready when federal permits are obtained, and construction begins.

The Danish company, along with its partners, will work together with the building trades’ unions to identify the skills necessary to accelerate the offshore wind construction workforce.

The groups will match those needs against the available workforce, timelines, scopes of work, and certification requirements to fulfill Ørsted’s pipeline of projects off the U.S. East Coast.

“Ørsted believes the best workers are always the best-trained workers, and we are proud to have earned a strong record of working with skilled union labor to build the country’s first offshore wind farm, the Block Island Wind Farm, where more than 300 union workers were employed,” said David Hardy, CEO of Ørsted Offshore North America.

“We appreciate NABTU’s cooperation and the collaborative approach our union partners have brought to this endeavor and look forward to learning from and working with them on this groundbreaking partnership.”

Photo: The Block Island Wind Farm, the first US offshore wind farm. Image source: US DOE