TRENTON, N.J. (June 21, 2023) – In May, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Board approved five grant applications totaling more than $3.7 million under the Authority’s Offshore Wind Workforce and Skills Development Grant Challenge (Grant Challenge). With this funding, recipients will launch innovative training programs focused on strengthening and diversifying the state’s offshore wind workforce, with a particular emphasis on serving Overburdened Communities.
The Grant Challenge is part of NJEDA’s Wind Institute for Innovation and Training’s (the “Wind Institute”) efforts to coordinate and deploy resources to advance offshore wind workforce development, research, and innovation in the state.
“As offshore wind grows in New Jersey, we must have a well-trained and qualified workforce that meets the needs of the industry,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “Under Governor Phil Murphy’s leadership, the NJEDA is committed to ensuring high-quality workforce development training programs are available so that all New Jerseyans, especially those living in minority and low-income communities, have equitable access to this emerging industry. This is another step towards achieving 11GW of offshore wind by 2040 while creating a better future for the next generation.”
The grant recipients will use the funding to provide skill development, workforce training, job placement, and other related services to develop, implement, or expand workforce development initiatives in offshore wind. All programs are either led by or partner with a community-based organization serving a New Jersey overburdened community. The provision of wraparound services including transportation, career coaching, and other supports is a core component of the awarded programs to expand access and address barriers to entry. The funded training will support the needs identified in an offshore wind workforce assessment, which projected that the offshore wind industry will result in 20,000 new jobs in 2030 across numerous sectors in the state, including construction, manufacturing, and professional services.
The following organizations were approved for grants:
- Mid-Atlantic States Career and Education Center – $1,000,000
- Eastern Atlantic States Carpenters Technical College – $987,124
- New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance – $700,000
- Apex Solutions Foundation – $612,720
- Ivy Hill Neighborhood Association – $425,155
“We look forward to working closely with the grantees to ensure a diverse pool of workers with the skills, competencies and credentials needed to thrive in this growing industry sector. Wind energy is our future. With these grants, we are helping ensure equal opportunities for these sustainable careers are available to all workers in our state,” said New Jersey Department of Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo.
“New Jersey’s burgeoning offshore wind industry will not only provide New Jerseyans with new, clean energy to help improve the air we breathe and mitigate the impacts of climate change, but will provide a significant boost to the state’s economy by creating thousands of jobs,” said Joseph L. Fiordaliso, President, New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. “The latest EDA grant awards provide an important step forward for training and skill development so the jobs that are being created in a growing industry can be filled by New Jerseyans.”
“The organizations that were awarded grants clearly demonstrated their ability to develop and implement an effective workforce training program, with an emphasis on serving New Jersey’s overburdened communities,” said NJEDA Vice President of Offshore Wind Jen Becker. “These training programs will provide a pathway to high-skilled, good-paying job opportunities and position individuals for long-term career success.”
Governor Murphy’s economic development plan, “The State of Innovation: Building a Stronger and Fairer NJ Economy,” identifies offshore wind as one of the strategic sectors for accelerating growth in New Jersey’s economy. Offshore wind represents a unique opportunity to meet the State’s clean energy goal of reaching 100 percent clean energy usage by 2035. Funding for the Grant Challenge is allocated under the Offshore Wind Sector Initiatives Memorandum of Understanding between the NJEDA and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities that was executed in 2021 to support offshore wind workforce development.
About the NJEDA
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) serves as the State’s principal agency for driving economic growth. The NJEDA is committed to making New Jersey a national model for inclusive and sustainable economic development by focusing on key strategies to help build strong and dynamic communities, create good jobs for New Jersey residents, and provide pathways to a stronger and fairer economy. Through partnerships with a diverse range of stakeholders, the NJEDA creates and implements initiatives to enhance the economic vitality and quality of life in the State and strengthen New Jersey’s long-term economic competitiveness.