Washington – North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) and Ørsted announced a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) to construct the company’s U.S. offshore wind farms with an American union workforce.
A first-of-its-kind in the United States, the National Offshore Wind Agreement (NOWA) injects hundreds of millions of dollars in middle-class wages into the American economy, creates apprenticeship and career opportunities for communities most impacted by environmental injustice, and ensures projects will be built with the safest and best-trained workers in America. Authorized by 15 international union presidents and their local affiliates, the NOWA covers all of Ørsted’s contractors and subcontractors that will perform offshore windfarm construction from Maine down to Florida.
“The signing of this unprecedented agreement is historic for America’s workers and our energy future. NABTU’s highly trained men and women professionals have the best craft skills in the world. This partnership will not only expand tens of thousands of career opportunities for them to flourish in the energy transition but also lift up even more people into the middle-class,” said Sean McGarvey, president of NABTU. “The constant drumbeat of public support for unions being important to maintain and build the middle class helped secure this momentous achievement. We commend Ørsted, AFL-CIO President Shuler, the Biden Administration and many Congressional leaders for their help and support to make today’s signing a reality and for setting forth a new framework for middle-class job creation in all energy sectors.”
“This historic milestone is a celebration for workers, clean energy and economic opportunity,” said David Hardy, CEO of Ørsted Offshore North America. “The National Offshore Wind Agreement we signed with NABTU sets the industry standard from the beginning. We’re going to build an American offshore wind energy industry with American workers, family-sustaining wages, and robust and equitable training programs to achieve this critical vision.”
With diversity targets, local training programs, and workforce diversity performance monitoring, the NOWA is designed to foster a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce, while expanding opportunities in offshore wind to frontline communities. It establishes project-by-project Workforce Equity Committees to prioritize recruiting and retaining people of color, women, gender nonconforming people and local environmental justice communities. Ørsted and the unions are committed to working with NABTU-affiliated pre-apprenticeship programs and Registered Apprenticeship programs that already recruit directly from nonprofit programs to train and support communities of color, women and other priority groups, and the NOWA will build on this precedent.