The New Jersey Economic Development Authority and the New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education Monday announced that Atlantic Cape Community College has won the New Jersey Offshore Wind Safety Training Challenge, and will receive $3 million to establish an industry-recognized offshore wind safety training program and facility to prepare New Jersey workers for jobs in the state’s growing offshore wind industry.
The Offshore Wind Safety Training Challenge is part of Gov. Phil Murphy’s whole of government approach to achieving his goal of generating 7.5 GW of offshore wind power by 2035 and positioning New Jersey as a hub for the American offshore wind industry.
“Atlantic Cape is thrilled to have been selected as the winner of the Offshore Wind Safety Training Challenge,” Atlantic Cape President Barbara Gaba said. “Offshore wind is an exciting industry that will open doors for thousands of New Jerseyans, and we are thrilled to play a part in preparing students and workers to participate in this exciting new industry at our Worthington Atlantic City Campus.”
As the winner of the Offshore Wind Safety Training Challenge, Atlantic Cape will enter a Memorandum of Understanding with OSHE for a $3 million grant to develop a GWO certified training program and facility to be operational by the end of 2022. Funding for the grant comes from the NJBPU’s Clean Energy Program. An evaluation committee comprised of NJEDA and OSHE staff reviewed all proposals received and awarded the grant based on criteria established when the challenge launched.
Atlantic Cape’s proposal included extensive stakeholder support; identified opportunities for collaboration across stakeholders including the City of Atlantic City, labor unions, chambers of commerce, Stockton University, and the Boys and Girls Club of Atlantic City; and demonstrated a commitment to prioritizing diversity and inclusion. The college’s GWO-certified partners are Arcon Training Center, a woman-owned business that recently executed a similar project in Maryland, and AIS Training and 3t Energy Group, which both have significant experience running GWO-certified programs in the United Kingdom.
In addition to developing the training program, Atlantic Cape will also build a 1,700-square- foot addition at their Atlantic City campus for the Basic Safety Training modules and utilize a rehabilitated section at Gardner’s Basin for the Sea Survival module. This facility will be strategically located near established offshore wind lease areas off the coast of New Jersey and in close proximity to the proposed Ocean Wind Operations and Maintenance port in Atlantic City.
“Providing equitable access to innovative opportunities is vital to building a stronger, fairer New Jersey economy that works for all residents. This collaboration between the employer community and the higher education sector is essential to ensuring that the postsecondary-to-employment ecosystem is well-positioned for the future,” Secretary of Higher Education Brian Bridges said. “We are excited to work with Atlantic Cape to create new opportunities for New Jerseyans to gain access to the critical training, education, and skills required to compete for jobs in offshore wind.”
“Training and certifying New Jersey workers for jobs in offshore wind is a critical aspect of growing this important new industry in New Jersey and will ensure in-state candidates can benefit from its many exciting, once-in-a-generation opportunities,” NJ Board of Public Utilities President Joseph L. Fiordaliso said. “NJBPU is proud to provide the funding to support Atlantic Cape’s proposal to establish this important safety program in Atlantic City.”