Atlantic Cape May Community College in South Jersey was tapped by the state to offer training courses for New Jersey’s offshore wind industry.
As part of a July 6 announcement, the Murphy administration is putting up a $3 million grant to Atlantic Cape to establish an offshore wind turbine technician training program recognized by the nonprofit Global Wind Organization.
Tim Sullivan, head of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, which is contributing $1 million as part of wind safety training challenge, said Atlantic Cape’s proposal would bring a “training program to a community at the heart of New Jersey’s growing wind industry.”
And Brian Bridges, the state’s higher education secretary – another state agency contributing to the $3 million for Atlantic Cape – said the county college’s training program is vital to bridging the “postsecondary-to-employment” transition.
State officials estimate that upward of 1,825 workers need to complete training by 2035 for the state to achieve the Murphy administration’s self-imposed offshore wind goals that same year.
Just last week, the state approved plans for a 2,700-megawatt offshore wind farm near Atlantic City, which would make it the largest such project in the nation. That’s on top of an 1,100-MW farm that will go online in early 2025 and a total capacity of 7,500-MW by 2035: all seen as a vital piece of the state’s economic revival coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Danish offshore wind company Ørsted North America – one of the main developers behind both projects – said it would create a $1.5 million scholarship and job-training program with the New Jersey Institute of Technology, as long as the state approves its second bid for an offshore wind farm, which it did on June 30.
As part of the funding agreement, Atlantic Cape has to set up the training program in collaboration with local unions and other key organizations in the area.
According to the press announcement, those partnerships will include Atlantic City and Stockton University, which already has its own curriculum set up for steering talent and labor toward the area’s offshore wind energy.
And it is partnering with Arcon Training Center, AIS Training and 3t Energy Group, all GWO-recognized. That’s on top of the construction of a 1,700-square-foot facility for on-site “Basic Safety training,” and a rehabilitated section of Gardner’s Basin for the “Sea Survival Module.”