Atlantic Power Transmission LLC (APT), a Blackstone portfolio company, has committed $50 million to workforce development in New Jersey. The commitment contributes toward creating a workforce hub for the offshore wind industry in the Northeast region and the state, addressing one of the recommendations outlined by the New Jersey Offshore Wind Strategic Plan.
APT will initiate this investment into the New Jersey workforce upon award of its bids to provide transmission supporting the delivery of 3,600 MW of offshore wind power to the existing electrical grid under the New Jersey Offshore Wind SAA Transmission Solicitation initiated by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and PJM Interconnection. This funding commitment of $50 million over 10 years will support workforce development investment in New Jersey’s education, training and research institutions.
APT has prioritized and actively partnered with its New Jersey Union Coalition in support of its bids and will continue to further expand the existing partnership that APT and Blackstone have with labor. The project’s broad-based New Jersey Union Coalition includes Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters; International Union of Operating Engineers Locals 825 & 25; Iron Workers Local 399; and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 456.
As part of this workforce development initiative and investment, APT is actively collaborating with local enterprises with a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion, statewide leadership, and Middlesex academic institutions, including Middlesex College and Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools.
“This generational investment will support New Jersey and the development of its workforce that will be necessary to build this new industry and to establish a new national standard for wind transmission,” says Andy Geissbuehler, APT’s CEO. “Investing in New Jersey’s workforce is crucial for the future of clean energy and this commitment to the next generation of New Jersey families reflects our company’s values.”
“As experienced developers, we recognize that we only win if communities we are serving win alongside us,” adds Sebastien Sherman, senior managing director at Blackstone. “APT’s collaboration with key stakeholders, including the New Jersey Union Coalition, on proactive design of workforce development programs and development of local content opportunities will cement New Jersey’s first-mover advantage in the burgeoning offshore wind transmission sector for decades to come.”
APT’s project is expected to generate $1.5 billion in economic benefits to New Jersey, including enabling 1,000 direct jobs per year during 5 construction years. Beyond these quantifiable benefits, APT and the New Jersey Union Coalition are working to establish New Jersey’s industry leadership by focusing on maximizing local manufacturing opportunities, including working with local companies and building components in-state. APT is in the process of developing sites to assemble 6,000-ton substation foundations and additional sites to install sensitive electrical equipment into substations.
“We wholeheartedly support the APT project with Blackstone,” remarks William Sproule, executive secretary-treasurer of the Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters. “Their initiatives, strategic planning and the discussions that we’ve been having even before construction starts is going to be extremely beneficial to New Jersey residents and help create more jobs in the construction industry as well as give us the ability to recruit new members into our union, into our apprenticeship, and provide them with career training and life-sustaining jobs with good pay and benefits.”