A graduation ceremony was held Feb. 1 for the first group of 26 Atlantic City residents who completed the 14-week Atlantic City Infrastructure Program (ACIP).
Held at Stockton University’s Academic Center, the event offered a chance for graduates to celebrate the completion of ACIP — an energy workforce training initiative for Atlantic City residents as part of a collaboration between the city and Atlantic City Electric.
The program, which provided residents the chance to explore careers in the energy sector and job opportunities for every graduate with Atlantic City Electric or one of their contractors, focuses on members from the under-resourced population in A.C. It offered these individuals a chance to gain utility and work-ready skills to prepare them for future careers.
ACIP builds on the broader efforts of Atlantic City Electric, which launched a six-year, $6.5 million South Jersey Workforce Development Program in 2018 with several community colleges and workforce development boards.
The ACIP began in November with participants attending sessions two days per week for three hours each. Training took place at the Carnegie Library Center in Atlantic City and at the Atlantic City Electric utility training yard. Program education was provided by Atlantic Cape Community College in partnership with the Atlantic County Workforce Development Board.
“Through this program, these individuals were given an opportunity they may not have otherwise had to better their lives, and they grabbed the bull by the horn,” said Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small Sr. “This was an intense course that required hard work and dedication on their end, and it makes me proud to see them be able to celebrate their accomplishments.”
Lamont Carson, one of the graduates of this first group, said he was looking for a change of direction in his life when he heard about this program.
“I thought this would be a great opportunity for myself,” said Carson. “I’ve learned a lot from being part of this program. One thing I’ve learned that I can point out is always challenge yourself because if you don’t, you’re cheating yourself.”
“Programs like ACIP enable us to partner with organizations that understand, and are embedded in, the local community to expand opportunities and create a robust pipeline of talent from the communities we serve,” said Tyler Anthony, president and CEO of Pepco Holdings, which includes Atlantic City Electric. “I look forward to our continued work with the City of Atlantic City and bringing forward impactful programs and opportunities that drive real social equity for the residents of Atlantic City. I am extremely proud of this first cohort. They are blazing a trail for the graduating classes for years to come.”
“The ACIP graduating class will be the inspiration for other Atlantic City residents to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the utility industry,” said Fran Kuhn, executive director of the Atlantic County Workforce Development Board. “The Workforce Development Board is proud to partner with Atlantic City Electric and Atlantic City to create a new training environment that develops the necessary skills to be a productive member of the energy workforce.”
“They are going on to bigger and better things because of ACIP, and we are looking forward to another successful cohort this year through our continued partnership with Pepco Holdings and Atlantic City Electric,” Small said.
The program is slated to take place twice per year.