Charting the Course: A Regional Assessment of the Marine Science and Technology Sector in Southeastern New England
Authors: The Public Policy at UMass Dartmouth
Report date: November 2019
Sponsor: The U.S. Economic Development Administration
Summary: In 2018, UMass Dartmouth and two regional planning agencies (RPAs)—the Southeastern Massachusetts Planning & Economic Development District and the Cape Cod Commission—were awarded an EDA grant to facilitate the development of a “Marine Science and Technology Corridor.” This project was designed to be a 3-year initiative coordinated under the direction of UMass Dartmouth, in collaboration with the RPAs, Chambers of Commerce, colleges and universities, businesses, and others. The execution of a comprehensive study of the MST sector is the first phase of this project, the results of which are summarized in this document.
This initiative is premised on the idea that the region has not benefited economically from the extraordinary success of the Greater Boston innovation economy as evidenced by its ongoing struggle to contend with higher unemployment, lower income and wages, and lower educational attainment levels as compared to the state of Massachusetts as a whole. This report documents that the Southeastern New England region has unique strengths in Blue Economy sectors and a relatively high concentration of activity in Marine Science and Technology (MST) fields. A central goal of the initiative is to build on these strengths to create more well-paying jobs and increase the overall prosperity of the region and its communities. Accordingly, our research and the implications that are drawn from it are designed to help regional leaders craft an effective strategy for closing the regional performance gap and creating meaningful economic opportunities for the region’s people, businesses, and communities.
For a discussion of the implications and a full summary of the results, see the link below.
Report link: Report
The Massachusetts Offshore Wind Industry: An Analysis of the Job Impacts and Workforce Pipeline for an Emerging Industry
Authors: The Public Policy at UMass Dartmouth, Bristol Community College, and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy
Report date: May 2018
Sponsor: The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center
Summary: This report presents the results of a comprehensive workforce and economic analysis that estimates the labor needs and economic impacts associated with the planning, construction, and maintenance of 1,600 MW of offshore wind (OSW) energy. Informed by the experience of the OSW industry’s emergence in Europe, dozens of in-depth interviews, and a detailed economic analysis, this report is designed to provide state and regional policymakers with actionable recommendations they can use to maximize the economic benefits of the emerging OSW industry. Among other things, this report finds that workforce development efforts should focus on the three priority occupations of water transportation workers, trade workers, and operations & maintenance technicians, all of which will be in high demand. In addition, there is a need for targeted investment in training facilities in order to provide the needed technical and health & safety training to work on a turbine offshore.
Please note: This report corrects errors that were introduced into the report during the sponsor’s design process. Accordingly, it is slightly but meaningfully different from the version originally released by the Clean Energy Center (CEC). This version should be considered the official version (the CEC has also posted an identical version on its website).
Report link: Report
Proposed Vineyard Wind Offshore Wind Energy Project: Estimated Contribution to Employment and Economic Development for 400 & 800 MW
Authors: David R. Borges, Michael Goodman, Elise Korejwa, Michael P. McCarthy
Report date: March 2018
Sponsor: Vineyard Wind
Summary & key findings: The PPC conducted a pair of analyses to describe the economic contributions to employment and economic output that the proposed 400 and 800 MW Vineyard Wind Offshore Wind Energy Projects can be expected to have on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the regional economy of Southeastern Massachusetts. These analyses are designed to support the development of a conservative and credible estimate of the economic impact of the Vineyard Wind proposal in response to inquiries contained in the Request for Proposals for Long-Term Contracts for Offshore Wind Energy Projects issued by the state’s four electric distribution companies in coordination with the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources.
Navigating the Global Economy: A Comprehensive Analysis of the Massachusetts Maritime Economy
Authors: David R. Borges, Michael Goodman, Elise Korejwa, Kasey Lima-Pires, Michael P. McCarthy, Holly Stickles, Joy Smith
Report Date: April 2017
Sponsor: The Massachusetts Seaport Economic Council
Summary & Key Findings: This comprehensive analysis finds that in 2015, the Massachusetts Maritime Economy supported $17.3 billion in economic output, 135,924 jobs, and $6.8 billion in wages. The Maritime Economy’s six sectors (Living Resources, Marine Construction, Offshore Minerals, Ship & Boat Building & Repair, Coastal Tourism & Recreation, and Marine Transportation & Technology) directly employed 90,482 people in the Commonwealth, which compares favorably with other major sectors in the state, such as Information (93,961 employees) and Computer & Electronics Manufacturing (56,088 employees).
The size and diversity of the Massachusetts Maritime Economy contribute to its resiliency. From 2005 to 2015, economic growth in Massachusetts’ Maritime Economy was significantly more robust than the state as a whole—37 percent as compared to 11 percent. Furthermore, the Massachusetts Maritime Economy exhibited consistent employment and sales growth, even as the broader economy was in decline during the Great Recession.
Even though the analysis documents significant growth in the Maritime Economy, maritime businesses in Massachusetts are not without their concerns. A survey of 735 of these businesses reveals a number of concerns related to business costs, regulations, and the availability of skilled workers. Business leaders also identified policies that preserve and protect ocean resources as being very critical to their business prospects.
The reports finds that marine renewable energy in the form of offshore wind (OSW), tidal, and wave energy hold great promise as a growth driver for the Maritime Economy since Massachusetts is poised to take the lead in these nascent industries. Massachusetts has the largest OSW potential of any state in the contiguous U.S, which if harnessed could supply Massachusetts’ current energy needs many times over.
The results make it clear that the Massachusetts Maritime Economy is strong and resilient and is positioned to remain an economic force for decades to come.