Expanded program will prepare NJ students for career opportunities in offshore wind
TRENTON, N.J. (February 8, 2023) – The Board of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) today approved expanding a program that will offer students at select New Jersey public and private universities paid research fellowships to prepare them for careers in the offshore wind industry. Opportunities will be available for undergraduate and graduate students.
In its first year, which began in October 2022, the Wind Institute Fellowship Program is supporting 26 student researchers across Montclair State University, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), Rowan University, and Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. The expanded program will enable students that attend these four schools plus Stockton University and selected NJ private, research universities to apply to their home institution for the Wind Institute Fellowship and receive up to $30,000 in academic years 2023-24 and 2024-25 for offshore wind research.
“As the offshore wind industry builds momentum in New Jersey, it’s essential that we foster the growth of our pipeline of qualified, talented individuals equipped with relevant skills. This will not only prepare students for exciting career opportunities, but will help our workforce keep pace with the needs of the industry,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “An investment in today’s students is an investment in tomorrow’s economy and this fellowship program will ultimately help to position New Jersey as a global leader in offshore wind, while creating jobs and bringing us closer to achieving Governor Phil Murphy’s clean energy goals.”
The fellowships will take place through the fall, spring, and summer semesters and run between 25 and 40 weeks depending on each school’s calendar. Juniors and seniors are eligible for $15,000 undergraduate awards, while graduate and doctoral students can apply for $30,000 awards. All accepted fellows will also receive $1,000 for related expenses, such as travel to conferences and materials. Each participating school can receive up to four fellowships, with at least one undergraduate and graduate representative. Rutgers can earn 12 fellowships, including at least three undergraduate and three graduate fellows.
“Wind energy is a major component of the Murphy administration’s plan for a 100 percent clean energy economy and is expected to drive billions in economic benefits,” said Jane Cohen, Executive Director, Governor’s Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy. “By investing in those students who come to or stay in New Jersey for higher education, we can create accessible pathways for thousands of local jobs to be filled by hard-working New Jerseyans and shape a sustainable tomorrow.”
The NJEDA will provide participating schools with funding for administration and other related expenses, while faculty advisors will receive $1,000 honorarium for their involvement. Fellows will be able to attend a series of cohort meetings hosted by the NJEDA during the academic year to support peer learning and to gain a comprehensive understanding of the offshore wind industry.
“New Jersey’s renowned higher education institutions are ideal for cultivating a workforce poised to support the state’s rapidly advancing offshore wind sector,” said NJEDA Vice President of Offshore Wind Jen Becker. “This fellowship program will create opportunities for students while helping us develop a robust, diverse, and local workforce for the offshore wind industry.”
Participating universities will run their application processes in the spring. Accepted fellows will begin in the summer or fall semesters.
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.