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    Tradepoint Atlantic highlighted in Baltimore County's push for offshore wind workforce

    February 4, 2023 - Ben Terzi


      Sparrows Point industrial logistics center Tradepoint Atlantic was highlighted by Baltimore County officials to drive the offshore wind energy workforce through various projects.

      Baltimore County Executive John Olszewski announced a $2 million award from a federal American Rescue Plan grant program that will help "connect residents to regional training program and apprenticeships for career paths in offshore wind industry." With this funding, Baltimore County's Department of Economic and Workforce Development (DEWD) will connect residents to training and skills across the state, including several offshore wind projects at Tradepoint Atlantic in eastern Baltimore County.

      "All of this is preparation for offshore wind-related businesses to come to Maryland but also here at Tradepoint Atantic," said Aaron Tomarchio, executive vice president of corporate affairs.

      Tradepoint Atlantic, who acquired the former Bethlehem Steel site in 2014, has made several partnerships with renewable energy companies such as Ørsted Offshore and US Wind.

      According to the company, US Wind is a Baltimore subsidiary of Italian-renewable energy firm Renexia SpA that signed a lease in Tradepoint Atlantic's shipyard about two years ago.

      "The combination of expanding offshore wind and welcoming steel back to Sparrows Point is truly a full-circle moment for Tradepoint Atlantic," Kerry Doyle, Tradepoint Atlantic Managing Director, said in 2021.

      US Wind is responsible for constructing Maryland's first-permanent offshore wind factory called Sparrows Point Steel that will supply projects in Ocean City with steel monopile foundations used to anchor wind turbines.

      Utilizing 90 acres of Tradepoint Atlantic's 3,300-acre site, Sparrows Point Steel is slated to begin production in 2024 and will bring an estimated 530 jobs locally.

      "Developing Momentum Wind and Sparrows Point Steel at full capacity will give Maryland the opportunity to bring steel back to Baltimore and become the epicenter of offshore wind manufacturing," Jeff Grybowski, US Wind CEO, said in a statement.

      Another partnership Tradepoint Atlantic had made was with Ørsted Offshore, an offshore wind energy development group.

      Back in 2019, Ørsted Offshore made an agreement with the Sparrows Point center to construct a 50-acre site to receive and loadout components for the Danish firm's Skipjack Wind Farm, located 19.5 miles off Maryland's coast.

      "We are proud to work with Tradepoint Atlantic to make clean energy the newest chapter in the storied history of the Sparrows Point site as we pursue our vision of a world that runs entirely on green energy," said Claus MØller, COO of Ørsted U.S. Offshore Wind.

      The Good Jobs Challenge, a grant program from the American Rescue Plan, dispersed $500 million to 32 "industry-led workforce training partnerships" that looks to secure job opportunities to more than 50,000 Americans, according to U.S. Economic Development Administration.

      "The legacy of Sparrows Point is one built on good jobs for families, which is why I am so proud this next step will extend that legacy into the future built on a green economy," Olszewski said. "This funding will help ensure Baltimore County continues to build a pipeline for a modern, skilled workforce as we continue our rapid transformation into the region's premiere hub for offshore wind while expanding our efforts to combat climate change and creating hundreds of high quality jobs in the process." According to a press release, the U.S. Department of Commerce gave the Maryland Department of Labor over $22 million in which the Maryland Works for Wind (MWW) project was one of 32 Good Jobs Challenge projects selected out of more than 500 nationwide applicants, back in August.

      The county says DEWD was approximately awarded $2,062,500 to "serve as a regional convener for central Maryland and connect residents to regional training programs" that would ultimately help to establish an offshore wind workforce development pipeline.

      According to Tomarchio, Tradepoint Atlantic is preparing for an announcement regarding offshore wind developments on March 3.


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