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November 22, 2023 | Around the NASRCC, Training

Carpenters Are Unleashing The Power

Our union has been actively involved in supporting green energy projects and funding, which, in turn, is creating thousands of construction jobs for our members. Since the Biden Administration announced that $30 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law would go to wind energy development, our members have directly benefited by being introduced to a whole new level of training and job opportunities.

From solar farms to multiple wind projects onshore and in the Atlantic, union carpenters, pile drivers, divers and millwrights have–and are expected to continue–taking advantage of significant work opportunities.

This week, New York’s offshore wind development marked a historic milestone with the completed installation of the first offshore wind turbine for Eversource Energy and Orsted’s South Fork Wind, which when completed will provide enough power for 70,000 Long Island households and families.

Another South Fork project that is stirring up excitement is the “Admiral Harold E. Shear State Pier” project New London, Connecticut. At this site, NASRCC members are continuing their work and pushing the capacity of green energy production in the Northeast by turning an aging site into a hub for offshore wind activity.

The pier is actually a complex of two adjacent piers, one of which was built in 1876. It’s being redeveloped to create a single, modern, heavy-lift capable multi-use terminal, and the scope of work involves dredging, drilling, welding, preparation of the seabed, and installations of a bulkhead, pile-supported platform, and other general building.

“The drilling and the driving of the pile has been the biggest challenge on this job because of the ground underneath,” says Local 326 member and steward on the job, Shane Scolaro. At one point, there were 67 Local 56 and Local 326 piledrivers on the job, with teams of divers to do the underwater welding and cutting.

While members may not be working offshore, there is critical work onshore that is being done by union carpenters. Local 1121 Millwrights are currently working on the light towers while Local 326 members are building the concrete exterior work platforms that will be positioned on the towers.

“There’s a lot of intricate work for the light towers that are here. There’s pipeage and drainage that needs to go in, and the carpenters do a lot of the formwork around that to lock everything in.”

“I’ve done at least 3,000 hours every year we’ve been here so far, so it’s been good for everybody,” Scolaro said, who lives in Canterbury, around 25 minutes from the job site.

No matter the capacity in which our members are involved in these projects, one thing is for certain we will be a vital part of history in the United States’ sustainable green energy sector.