Mayflower Wind and the SouthCoast Community Foundation have announced the future creation of The Mayflower Fund, a commitment to workforce and economic development that the offshore wind developer will pursue if it is successful in the Massachusetts offshore wind procurement process now under way.
The company will devote between $27 million and $47.5 million to the Mayflower Fund, depending on the size of the contract awarded, to build inclusive, equitable, and diverse employment, training, and supply chain opportunities related to the offshore wind industry in the Southeastern Massachusetts region. The future fund will be managed by the SouthCoast Community Foundation.
“From our initial discussion about the fund, it was clear that Mayflower Wind and the Community Foundation share a mutual, deep commitment to the South Coast region. We are proud to be partnering with Mayflower Wind and excited about the profound and lasting impact their investment can mean across Southeastern Massachusetts,” said John Vasconcellos, president and CEO, of the SouthCoast Community Foundation. “We are particularly pleased about the ability to help build the local skill base needed to take full advantage of the jobs and opportunities the offshore wind industry will create.”
“The offshore wind industry has the potential to provide significant economic and environmental benefits to the people and businesses across the South Coast,” said Michael Brown, CEO, Mayflower Wind. “But in order to truly succeed we need strong partnerships with organizations such as the SouthCoast Community Foundation, who truly understand the needs of the community, to ensure we are fostering a just transition toward a sustainable energy future.”
The Mayflower Fund economic development activities and investments, underpinned by diversity, equity, and inclusion principles, will span the Community Foundation service area which includes Greater New Bedford, Greater Fall River and Southern Plymouth County, a total of 41 cities and towns across four counties of Southeastern Massachusetts.
The future Mayflower Fund will have two focus areas. The workforce, education, and training component will provide resources for local, nonprofit educational institutions such as vocational and technical schools and community colleges to create paid training, internship, and apprenticeship programs to support workforce development.
The supply chain component will work with municipal officials, state economic development authorities and departments, the Massachusetts Supplier Diversity Office, and other key stakeholders to identify and fund nonprofit based projects, programs and initiatives that build employment and economic development opportunities on the South Coast that are related to the Offshore Wind industry. It will be managed in consultation with key industry stakeholders including state and municipal development authorities, labor groups, academic institutions, business associations, and diversity, equity, and inclusion NGOs, among others.
“As we build a new era of prosperity around the emerging offshore wind industry, the Mayflower Fund is an innovative game-changer for the South Coast,” said state Sen. Michael J. Rodrigues (D – Westport). “Sharpening our efforts to secure a clean energy future for our Commonwealth, this collaborative partnership between the SouthCoast Community Foundation and Mayflower Wind is an incredible opportunity to invest in skills training and jobs and will ensure that all South Coast communities can equally and actively participate in this industry as it grows and anchors itself in our region.”