WindWinRI was created by the North Kingstown Chamber of Commerce located in North Kingstown, Rhode Island. The North Kingstown Chamber of Commerce is the leader of a consortium of economic development, education and business partners dedicated to designing and implementing a strategic, demand-driven career pathway system that meets the employment needs of Rhode Island businesses. Additionally, the innovative system for capacity building makes available professional credentials for local students and incumbent workers for long-lasting placements within the wind energy technology industry. The Chamber has received a multi-year Real Jobs Planning Grant to initiate the career pathway system design and implementation.
A U. S. Department of Energy Analysis of Offshore Wind Farm development and job creation along the Northeast Coastal Corridor released in October, 2017 projected “In the low scenario, wind energy economic activity will translate to 160,000 baseline full-time equivalent (FTE) job years over the lifetime of the wind farms, with a peak of 8,300 FTE jobs in 2028. In the high scenario there would be a total of 320,000 baseline FTE job years, with a peak of 16,700 FTE jobs in 2028.” A May 2017 Analysis of Wind Energy Occupations in Rhode Island found occupations that will most likely be in demand include engineering services, electrical contracting, welding, construction equipment operators, and general operations.
The grant utilizes and augments existing training and educational programs in partnership with North Kingstown School Department, Pawtucket School Department, Rocky Hill School, Community College of Rhode Island, New England Institute of Technology and University of Rhode Island. In the first year of the grant all of the necessary program planning, e.g., curriculum development, and educational approvals to establish a career pathways system in Rhode Island were completed. The career pathway system is reviewed and approved by all required educational authorities, particularly the Rhode Island Department of Education.
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