More Than 500 People Flock to Vineyard Wind Job Fair
More than 500 people packed in to the Andrea McCoy Recreation Center in New Bedford on Thursday for a job fair held by Vineyard Wind.
Vineyard Wind is a New Bedford-based offshore wind company that is currently building the nation's first utility-scale offshore wind energy project over 15 miles off the coast of Massachusetts.
Present the job fair were 45 organizations, 36 of which were hiring, nine organizations offering educational services, and over 160 positions to be filled.
"The message of this jobs fair is that offshore wind is here today." said former New Bedford Mayor John Bullard, who is currently serving as President of the New Bedford Ocean Cluster.
Jobs that were being offered included: electricians, welders, pipe fitters mechanics, fabricators, carpenters, painters, laborers, technicians, marine life observers, GIS analysts, environmental compliance and permitting, deck hands, mates, captains, safety managers, foremen/forewomen, equipment operators, and project managers.
"This turnout blows me away," New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell said. "I feared that people are still not realizing just how real offshore wind is, and I look out at this crowd and literally hundreds of people are here. It strikes me that the word is out people are looking for jobs already and big employers are here, so it's all very exciting."
Booths were lined along the gymnasium with local companies, labor organizations, and major national corporations such as General Electric that were looking to hire. There was also a virtual reality booth where attendees could get an immersive experience on what it's like to work on a wind turbine.
"I think this is only the beginning," said Klaus Mueller, CEO of Vineyard Wind. "We expect to hire at least 200 out of this effort and for the future there's other projects after us. Also the wind farm is expected to go on for 30 years so there will be plenty of opportunities."