A Different Type of Crew

Mike Burns on the new CTTF at MMA

Training for an emerging offshore wind workforce just got a boost with completion of a "crew transfer training facility" (CTTF)  at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy. Funded partly by a grant from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, construction of the facility was finished in late August. Modeled after offshore wind turbines, the training tower is located at the end of MMA’s waterfront protection pier that also provides docking for local first response vessels.

The project is part of the Commonwealth’s plan to establish a network of training programs that prepare workers for a major wind farm project planned south of Martha’s Vineyard. MMA hopes to be the first institution in the country to offer all five modules of training courses developed by the Denmark based Global Wind Organization (GWO), which sets international standards in the offshore wind sector. “The GWO Training modules have many similarities to training programs MMA is currently offering, such as Personal Survival Techniques, Fire Fighting, and First Aid.” said Capt. Michael Burns, director of the Center for Maritime and Professional Training at the Academy.

While offshore wind training is a new direction, it falls in line with the Academy’s maritime “health and safety” orientation and academic focus. Instructors will be existing academy staff and outside experts. Courses are targeted at those getting ready to work in the construction, operation, and maintenance of offshore wind farms, as well as for those doing survey and other related offshore jobs. “There are currently a few training providers in the US offering GWO training for onshore wind, but none in the Northeast and none offering the offshore, Sea Survival module. MMA, in cooperation with our training partner, Relyon Nutech is positioning itself to be the first in the country to offer GWO training for offshore wind.” Burns adds. Mass Maritime hopes to have instructor training completed by early November, and begin offering courses by the end of this year. MMA also plans to make offshore training courses available to cadets in the future.

Offshore wind is expected to generate many jobs going forward. As the industry matures, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that 43,000 new jobs will be created in the offshore wind market by 2030. 

Story edited/updated from the original article below.