- Community Offshore Wind is the first offshore wind developer to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the New Jersey AFL-CIO to negotiate a Labor Harmony Agreement for long-term, non-construction jobs in the industry if the project is selected.
- Community Offshore Wind also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with affiliates of the South Jersey Building Trades for union labor agreements to support the construction of the project.
- Community Offshore Wind will invest $2.5 million in pre-apprenticeship programs affiliated with New Jersey’s labor movement.
- The partnerships will train individuals from overburdened communities across New Jersey in clean energy skills, while supporting them with services like work transportation and childcare financial assistance.
Community Offshore Wind, a joint venture between National Grid Ventures and RWE, is setting new standards in workforce development with major investments in local organized labor programs included in the proposal submitted to the New Jersey Board of Utilities in early August. The investments include $2.5 million to support workforce development and training programs, as well as a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the New Jersey AFL-CIO to negotiate a Labor Harmony Agreement (LHA). This MoU delivers on the promise that Community Offshore Wind will create long-term, good-paying jobs for overburdened communities in New Jersey. If Community Offshore Wind is selected by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, the agreement will provide a pathway for unionization for long-term, non-construction careers.
The MoU with the New Jersey AFL-CIO goes beyond traditional commitments to use union labor for the construction of the project, ensuring that future jobs in maritime, manufacturing, operations, and other positions can be represented by the affiliates of the New Jersey AFL-CIO and lead to skilled union, high-paying careers for New Jerseyans.
Community Offshore Wind also executed a MoU with affiliates of the South Jersey Building Trades Councils for agreements to use union labor during the construction of our project.
“Our commitment to New Jersey goes far beyond bringing clean, renewable power to communities across the state. We must seize the opportunity to create an equitable workforce and there is no better way to ensure that the benefits of the industry are shared across the state than partnering with organized labor,” said Doug Perkins, President & Project Director of Community Offshore Wind, “By investing in education and training from historically underserved communities, and proactively working with New Jersey unions to prepare for the influx of new jobs the clean energy transition will bring, we’re not only preparing individuals for success but contributing to local economic growth and the advancement of the clean energy sector.”
Alongside the MoUs executed to date, Community Offshore Wind will make ongoing, additional investments to build a diverse, skilled workforce pipeline for the clean energy industry in the region, addressing the industry’s evolving demands while creating long-term economic opportunities for workers and families across New Jersey, especially those from communities previously left behind by expanding industries.
As part of its investment, Community Offshore Wind will support IBEW Local 400’s first pre-apprenticeship program focused on clean energy training. The program will support a cohort of 50 individuals, prioritizing workers from overburdened communities in Ocean and Monmouth Counties, to receive training and certifications that will allow them to participate in both the construction and ongoing maintenance of the infrastructure needed for offshore wind, electric vehicle charging, solar, battery storage, and other clean energy technologies. For the final two weeks of the program, students will work for an electrical contractor for on-the-job experience. Upon completion, pre-apprentices will be considered for direct entry into the existing IBEW apprenticeship programs in Ocean and Monmouth counties.
Community Offshore Wind has also committed to help fund the expansion of LIUNA’s successful “Pathways 2 Apprenticeship” program from New York into New Jersey, providing a reentry pathway for justice-involved individuals to the organized construction trades. The pre-apprenticeship program allows for direct entry into skilled trades careers. Community Offshore Wind’s investment in this program will support pre-apprentices with financial assistance for transportation and childcare.
As the Eastern Atlantic States Carpenters Technical College aims to expand their Carpenters Apprentice Ready Program (CARP) to South Jersey and develop a program to meet the needs of the offshore wind industry throughout the state, Community Offshore Wind has also committed to provide funding to help connect participants with funding for personal protective equipment, supplies, childcare and transportation.
“Community Offshore Wind signing an MOU prior to project selection, with a commitment to utilizing union labor over the lifetime of their project, demonstrates their dedication to New Jersey workers and families around the state,” said Charles Wowkanech, President of the New Jersey AFL-CIO. “Taking a holistic view of workforce development by prioritizing the existing high-road pathways into organized labor means we will keep the benefits of this new industry right here in our local communities, and build the diverse, skilled workforce we will need as future projects are approved.”
“The IBEW Local 400 Green Energy Pre-Apprenticeship Program will help launch the next generation of electricians into clean energy careers. By partnering with Community Offshore Wind, we can provide more opportunities for those from overburdened communities to access a pathway into the labor movement and New Jersey’s clean energy future,” said Robert Shimko, Business Manager of IBEW Local 400.
“The New Jersey Pathways 2 Apprenticeship program is a premier example of how to create real, skilled, and high-paying career opportunities for marginalized and justice-involved individuals. That said, we don’t succeed alone. With Community Offshore Wind’s support, we will eliminate other barriers to employment that people face like access to transportation and childcare,” said Wayne Richardson, President of the New Jersey Pathways 2 Apprenticeship. “Together, Community Offshore Wind and NJ P2A can create a thoughtful, supportive, and effective pathway for people seeking to build their careers in the clean energy industry.“
“Building on the success of our current Carpenters Readiness Apprentice Program, we are proud to partner with Community Offshore Wind to bring this programming to South Jersey and provide pre-apprentices with much needed wraparound support,” said Executive Secretary Treasurer William Sproule, of the Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters. “This investment will help dozens of individuals access a pathway into the skilled trades while introducing them to the promise the offshore wind industry has to offer to our communities.”
Community Offshore Wind’s proposal for New Jersey will deliver $6 billion in economic benefits to communities across the state, including more than 1,700 new jobs, a substantial investment in New Jersey’s offshore wind supply chain; funding for the creation of a Civilian Conservation Corps and workforce development programs; and new funding for services such as childcare and transportation, prioritizing workers and families from overburdened communities.
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Community Offshore Wind
Community Offshore Wind, a joint venture between RWE and National Grid Ventures, will bring clean energy from offshore wind to the Northeast. We will develop offshore wind on the largest parcel in the New York Bight with the potential to host 3 gigawatts (GW) of capacity, which is enough to power over one million US homes and businesses. The project is expected to be in operation by the beginning of the next decade. Community Offshore Wind is dedicated to investing in communities by bringing clean energy jobs to the region and growing the local economy. We will deliver sustainable energy safely, reliably and efficiently to the communities we serve. For more information, please visit www.communityoffshorewind.com.