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From the Desk of Executive Director Bryon Short

From the Desk of Executive Director Bryon Short - October 14, 2022

Delaware Business Times recently did an article about the opportunities for Delaware contractors to participate in the emerging clean energy sector with the installation of a windfarm near Delaware’s coastline as well as projects up and down the east coast. In February of this year, the University of Delaware released a report commissioned by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control stating that projects ranging from Massachusetts to Virginian will bring upwards of $109 billion of investment while creating as many as 83,000 jobs in the construction, manufacturing and port sectors.

As the clean energy industry continues to create construction opportunities, DCA serves as an important point of contact for those seeking the best trained skilled crafts workers. Orsted, who is building the Skipjack Wind project just off Ocean City, Maryland, reached out to DCA for assistance in 2020 to communicate to our members the trades they were seeking in the initial phase of the project. Recently, Energize Delaware contacted DCA for input regarding Workforce Development Forums being held to discuss the development of programs seeking to expand the participation of low- and moderate-income workers in the clean energy field in Delaware.

DelDOT has recently asked that DCA share information with our members regarding training requirements associated with building out Delaware’s electric vehicle infrastructure. The Department, in conjunction with DNREC, developed a plan prioritizing locations for the EV infrastructures which has now been approved by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) making federal grant funds available for this work. FHWA has not yet released the programs guidelines but once that is done, DelDOT is aiming to put out an RFP for contractors to install the infrastructure, but contractors must have special training to be perform this work.

Under the proposed rules from FHWA, the use of federal funds for EV charger installation from the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program requires certification of installations through the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program (EVITP). EVITP is brand neutral, volunteer based, non-profit organization that trains electricians in the electric vehicle infrastructure space in the United States and Canada. Its training includes site assessment, load calculations, National Electric Code, jobsite safety, personal protection equipment, and other installation and maintenance best practices. The EVITP curriculum was developed in collaboration with industry partners and stakeholders across the automotive, utility and EVSE manufacturing sectors and with industry professional associations and education institutions.

Just looking at the financial impact and job creation numbers of the proposed east coast windfarms points to considerable opportunities for skilled trades workers. Given the high skill level of DCA’s contractors, our members are in a position to lead the way as the sector expands.

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