During its Feb. 9 meeting, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) approved the expansion of its Wind Institute Fellowship Program, which offers students at select Garden State universities paid research fellowships to prepare them for careers in the burgeoning offshore wind industry.
The program began in October by supporting 26 student researchers from Montclair State University, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), Rowan University and Rutgers University.
The NJEDA says the expansion will enable students who attend those schools, along with Stockton University and selected private, research universities in the state, to apply to their home institution for the fellowship.
Tim Sullivan, NJEDA CEO, said in a statement that as this sector builds momentum here in the Garden State, it is essential to foster the growth of a talent pipeline.
“This will not only prepare students for exciting career opportunities, but will help our workforce keep pace with the needs of the industry,” said 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 Gov. Phil Murphy’s clean energy goals.”
The fellowships run between 25 and 40 weeks through the fall, spring and summer semesters with juniors and seniors eligible for $15,000 undergraduate awards and graduate and doctoral students eligible for $30,000 awards. Fellows will also receive $1,000 for related expenses.
Each school can receive up to four fellowships, while Rutgers can earn 12.
The NJEDA will also provide participating schools with funding for any administrative or related expenses and will host a series of meetings during the academic year for fellows to learn more about the offshore wind industry.
“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,” said Jane Cohen, executive director, Governor’s Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy.
Jen Becker, NJEDA vice president of offshore wind, said that the state’s renowned higher education institutions are ideal for cultivating a workforce to support this rapidly advancing sector.
“This fellowship program will create opportunities for students while helping us develop a robust, diverse, and local workforce for the offshore wind industry,” said Becker.
The application process will kick off in the spring.e