State hires compliance officer to ease South Terminal minority hiring concerns

NEW BEDFORD — The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center has hired a compliance officer to monitor hiring goals at South Terminal in an effort to sooth tensions between the state agency and city minority leaders.

MassCEC announced Tuesday that New Bedford resident Donald Gomes will help monitor minority hiring goals for South Terminal construction. Gomes previously served 14 years as compliance manager for the City of New Bedford.

Tensions between MassCEC and minority leaders have been mounting for more than a year due to concerns about the lack of local and minority workers at the South Terminal construction site.

Bill White, offshore wind director for MassCEC, said Tuesday that employing local residents is “a challenge here.”

“I know our New Bedford numbers are low and there are efforts we are trying to make in order to increase these numbers,” he said. “Those goals are something we may not have lived up to.”

Asked why the state was hiring Gomes with only five months left until South Terminal is complete, White paused before saying there was no one reason or turning point.

“On one level we have done pretty good but we have also seen that we can do better,” he said.

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