The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) has received approval from its board to enter an agreement with Salem County Vocational Technical School (SCVTS) that will support the expansion of the school’s offshore wind-related painting and welding programs. Under the agreement, the NJEDA will provide up to $200,000 to support the expansion of programs that will prepare students and workers for jobs in heavy steel offshore wind component manufacturing.
“The NJEDA’s support of offshore wind programs at SCVTS is part of our efforts to ensure New Jersey’s pipeline of skilled workers keeps pace with growing demand from the high-growth offshore wind industry,” states CEO Tim Sullivan. “This focus on offshore wind education supports Governor Phil Murphy’s vision for New Jersey as a global leader in the industry, and also advances his goal of a stronger and fairer economy by creating equitable educational and career opportunities.”
The NJEDA will help to fund equipment, materials, instructor time and other expenses required to train secondary and post-secondary students for the specific skills required for large-scale steel component manufacturing. This agreement complements a similar agreement between NJEDA and Gloucester County Institute of Technology announced in December 2021.
“Since the beginning of this process, the NJEDA has been committed to making sure that Salem County residents are given the opportunity for employment at the Wind Port facility,” comments Ben Laury, Salem County’s commissioner director. “The Board of Commissioners is pleased to see that commitment manifest in an investment for SCVTS and its students.”
This agreement utilizes funding from a memorandum of understanding between NJEDA and the NJ Board of Public Utilities to support offshore wind training and research initiatives.
“NJEDA’s commitment to funding these growing programs is an investment in the future of our local workforce,” says John Swain, SCVTS’ superintendent. “Training and reskilling workers will prepare them for high-quality offshore wind career opportunities that will sustain our families and communities well into the future.”
“This agreement will result in opportunities for high school students and adult learners to gain the specialized skills needed for jobs in the offshore wind large-scale steel component manufacturing sector,” adds Jen Becker, managing director of Wind Institute Development. “We’re really excited to launch these programs in the coming months.”