Project labor agreement will create hundreds of family-sustaining union jobs while powering hundreds of thousands Mass. homes and businesses
Joint efforts between the Southeastern Massachusetts Building Trades Council and Vineyard Wind will further boost recruitment and training opportunities for underserved communities, including through a $500,000 outreach initiative
New Bedford, MA (July 16, 2021) – Vineyard Wind and the Southeastern Massachusetts Building Trades Council held a signing ceremony to commemorate the first project labor agreement for an industrial-scale offshore wind project in the United States. 
The roughly 500 family-sustaining union jobs created through the pact will also help to create a vital, sustainable energy source that will provide power to more than 400,000 homes and businesses in Massachusetts, save ratepayers $1.4 billion over the first 20 years of operation and that is expected to reduce carbon emissions by more than 1.6 million tons per year, the equivalent of taking 325,000 cars off the road annually. 
“Today’s Project Labor Agreement is a major breakthrough for climate action, good-paying union jobs, and equity in Massachusetts and America. We’re at the dawn of a new future – powered by the winds off our shores and the fierce urgency to combat our climate crisis,” said Senator Edward J. Markey.
“The signing of this PLA is the culmination of our long-standing promise to the working people of Massachusetts,” said Vineyard Wind CEO Lars T. Pedersen.  “We now have an agreement in place that will make sure local residents on the South Coast, Cape and Islands, can reap the greatest possible benefit from this new and growing industry. And beyond that, it’s a commitment to make sure we have a diversified workforce that represents the communities where we work, so that we can open the doors of opportunity as wide as possible.”
“The signing of this Project Labor Agreement sets the standard for Off-Shore Wind and other renewable energy projects across our country. We can Build Back Better with renewable energy AND create union jobs at the same time,” said Frank Callahan,  President of Massachusetts Building Trades Council. “The men and women of North America’s Building Trades Unions are the best trained, most highly skilled and most productive workforce in the world. They get the job done right while earning family-sustaining wages and benefits that provide them a secure place in America’s middle class.”
“We are proud to work with organized labor to make history by building the nation’s first large-scale offshore wind project, Vineyard Wind 1,” said Dennis V. Arriola, CEO of AVANGRID. “The PLA is a triple-win for workers, our communities and industry and sets a strong precedent as we build the offshore wind energy infrastructure in the U.S. Investing in the workforce that will build the clean and connected future creates strong, sustainable communities and will enable the long-term growth and success of the offshore wind industry in this country.” 
“GE is proud to support our customer, Vineyard Wind, in building the first commercial scale offshore wind farm in the US,” said John Lavelle, GE Offshore Wind CEO.  “The agreement announced today confirms the important role that the Massachusetts workforce will play in installing those turbines.  These highly-skilled men and women will be building a cleaner and more sustainable future for Massachusetts and our nation.  We look forward to working in partnership with them to install the Haliade-X turbines, the most powerful offshore wind turbine built to date, in order to create clean, renewable energy for Massachusetts as part of the energy transition needed to address climate change.”
The Southeastern Massachusetts Building Trades Council represents thousands of workers throughout the South Coast, Cape Cod and Islands.
Project labor agreements are widely used in both the private and public sectors to ensure the timely delivery of high-quality construction projects. Project labor agreements help ensure access for project managers and developers to the highest-skilled and best-trained workforces in the region. American construction unions invest more than a billion dollars in training each year. In Massachusetts, apprentice training has also been an engine for diversity, equity and inclusion. Massachusetts building trades union training programs train more than 93% of all women apprentices and 86% of all apprentices of color in the state.
Project labor agreements also help to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion on the jobsite through investments in recruitment and pre-apprenticeship programs that create career pathways into the building trades for underserved communities. 
Through the agreement between the unions and Vineyard Wind, $500,000 will be allocated to a special fund designed to bolster pre-apprenticeship and recruitment programs such as “Building Pathways South” which will create opportunities for low-income residents, particularly in underserved communities, to both work on the Vineyard Wind project and to achieve family-sustaining careers in the union construction industry.
The terms of the agreement will ensure that a majority of the workforce be from local communities, specifically from Bristol, Plymouth, Barnstable, and Dukes Counties, in addition to setting concrete hiring targets for women and people of color.  
Project labor agreements establish the terms and conditions of employment on projects to ensure workers and the community benefit from safe, family-sustaining career opportunities in the construction field.
“This project means a lot to me. I was here in New Bedford last year, working on the renovations to make sure this pier is stable. The wages and benefits that I receive in my union not only benefit me but my five-year-old son too,” said Josh Griggsby, a member of Piledrivers Local 56. “The Vineyard Wind project will give our family a good foundation and help save the planet.”
“Using a project labor agreement to construct the country’s first industrial-scale offshore wind farm guarantees union protections for workers on this project, the work stays local, and the workers represent the diverse communities they come from,” said Kristin Wozniak, a member of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 223. “The Vineyard Wind project puts workers like me at the forefront of the battle against climate change where our skills are needed most.”
Through this agreement, Vineyard Wind has also pledged to appoint an Accountability Officer to facilitate an Access and Opportunity Committee and to ensure that contractors are meeting hiring requirements in addition to promoting an inclusive workplace. 
“The historic signing of the nation’s first PLA for the offshore wind industry and the Vineyard Wind project are critical to our efforts to combat climate change, generate clean power, and boost our economy,” said Senator Elizabeth Warren. “It takes highly skilled workers to build these large projects and communities across the South Coast have the brain and muscle power to make it happen. The partnership between Vineyard Wind and Southeastern Massachusetts Building Trades is not only creating good paying union jobs – it is creating careers and a pathway for local workers to become part of a thriving union construction industry.”
“Like the Industrial Revolution long ago, today we are cementing the start of a Clean Energy Revolution and celebrating the workers who will move us into the future,” said Congressman Bill Keating, who represents New Bedford and Martha’s Vineyard and is also the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee Chairman on Energy. “There is a lot of talk every day about the threat of climate change, but today is a day of action not words. And today’s action will directly translate into good paying jobs for our region. With this labor agreement, we further solidify Southeastern 
“Offshore winds represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to meet our clean energy and climate goals while unlocking new opportunities for job creation and economic development in Massachusetts, especially the South Coast region,” said Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “The Baker-Polito Administration is focused on ensuring Massachusetts’ workforce is trained and ready to help us build this clean energy future, and Governor Baker’s ARPA proposal to invest $100 million in port infrastructure is critical to ensuring the Commonwealth capitalizes on the economic potential of this emerging industry.” 
“Today’s signing kicks off the construction of the Vineyard Wind project, which will move Massachusetts closer to achieving the offshore wind energy and emissions reduction goals that have been continuously laid out by the Legislature,” said Speaker of the House Ronald J. Mariano. “In addition to powering thousands of homes with clean energy, this project will create hundreds of good union jobs for Massachusetts residents. The Legislature was proud to recently include a $13 million investment in our FY22 budget to train the workforce that will power offshore wind energy industry.” 
“For the last decade, New Bedford has strived to position itself as a leader in the offshore wind industry so that we can create opportunity for the residents of our region. With the firm support of the Biden Administration, the PLA announced today does just that. It will create a pathway to the middle class by helping to establish solid union jobs, right here in our city,” said New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell
Massachusetts as the hub of clean energy technology and the emerging blue economy. I look forward to working with everyone here today to keep up this progress.”
The PLA signing ceremony was held at the Marine Commerce Terminal in New Bedford. The turbines will be dispatched from that Terminal for installation by the building trades union members.
Since 2017, the Vineyard Wind 1 project has been through an unprecedented and extensive public review process that generated more than 30,000 public comments, more than 90% of which supported the project.  
The Construction and Operations Plan (COP) was reviewed by more than two dozen federal, state, and local agencies over the course of more than three and a half years. 
Vineyard Wind 1 is an 800 MW project located 15 miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard and will be the first commercial-scale offshore wind project in the United States.  The project will generate electricity for more than 400,000 homes and businesses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and will create 3,600 Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) job-years over the life of the project in various disciplines and industries, including the more than 500 union construction jobs covered by the recently announced pact.

Vineyard Wind will reach a financial close in the second half of 2021 and begin delivering clean energy to Massachusetts in 2023.