The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) has announced a proposal for an Offshore Wind Technical Assistance Program.
The initiative will support local companies in developing skills and competencies needed to participate in New Jersey’s burgeoning offshore wind industry. Specifically, it aims to help participating small- and medium-sized businesses assess their current capacity to supply the offshore market and develop an action plan to get up to current industry standards.
Companies that complete the proposed program will receive assistance with implementing their action plan and will be independently certified with industry credentials.
“Offshore wind is the foundation of Governor Phil Murphy’s vision for 100 percent clean energy and a cornerstone of his plan for a stronger, fairer New Jersey economy,” says NJEDA’s CEO, Tim Sullivan. “New Jersey is well-positioned to become America’s offshore wind capital, and the Offshore Wind Technical Assistance Program will ensure New Jersey businesses and workers are equipped with the skills and industry expertise they need to take advantage of this unprecedented growth opportunity.”
As a first step toward implementation, the NJEDA will procure and contract with an experienced offshore wind advisory and certification company to serve as the program’s technical assistance (TA) provider. This selection process will include a public request for proposals. Once the TA provider is selected, NJEDA will work with it to refine the program’s ultimate structure and company selection criteria.
Participating companies will be responsible for a portion of the cost to ensure their commitment to full participation and completion of the program, says the NJEDA. The initial cohort of the program is likely to focus on manufacturing companies.
“New Jersey clearly recognizes offshore wind’s potential to drive major economic growth and is taking strategic steps to establish a network of support for investors and manufacturers considering their options in the state,” says Liz Burdock, president and CEO of the Business Network for Offshore Wind. “The technical assistance program will help companies take stock of their bandwidth and build out the right capabilities to support the large-scale opportunities to come.”