Block Island wind farm
Block Island Wind Farm (Photo credit: DOE)

Just off the coast of Rhode Island, the nation’s first commercial offshore wind farm began operating three years ago. That has many in the region excited about the offshore wind industry.

Morse: “Having this opportunity for careers coming our way is something we want to help our students prepare for – at least to explore the idea that this is an area they might want to go into.”

Barbara Morse is an assistant principal at North Kingstown High School. The school has started an offshore wind training program as an off-shoot of its existing engineering track. Its first students are expected to graduate next year.

In addition to engineering courses, students will take classes tailored for offshore wind, such as marine safety.

To design the program, faculty consulted with industry experts.

Morse: “Most times in education we’re hoping we’re preparing kids for the future. And this is one of the unique times where we’ve been able to sit down with the people who will be hiring that can tell us what exactly it is they want the kids to know and be able to do.”

The program is funded by the state. It’s part of an effort to create jobs in the wind industry and make sure that young Rhode Islanders are ready to fill them.

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.

Jan Ellen Spiegel is a long-time Connecticut-based journalist whose career has included radio, television, print, and digital reporting. She has won awards for her reporting on energy, environment, climate...