Atlantic Power Transmission LLC (“APT”) has announced a $50 million commitment to workforce development in New Jersey towards the creation of a workforce hub for the burgeoning offshore wind industry in the Northeast region and the state. It addressed one of the recommendations outlined by the New Jersey Offshore Wind Strategic Plan. APT remains committed to the coordinated approach at this early stage in the development of the nation’s offshore wind market.
APT will initiate this investment into the New Jersey workforce upon award of its bids to provide transmission supporting the delivery of 3,600MW 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 ten years will support workforce development investment in New Jersey’s education, training, and research institutions.
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.
The company 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 parent company 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.
APT has engaged New Jersey workforce development programs to help ensure New Jersey’s workers will be well prepared to lead the next phase of the development of the offshore wind industry. APT and its Alliance Partners – industry leaders with established offshore wind transmission experience – are committed to using our collective expertise and resources in offshore wind development to map out new, high-impact technical and professional employment opportunities for New Jersey citizens. As part of this workforce development initiative and investment, APT is actively collaborating with local enterprises with a focus on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, statewide leadership, and Middlesex academic institutions, including Middlesex College and Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools.
Commenting on the announcement, APT CEO Andy Geissbuehler said, “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. 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.”
Sebastien Sherman, Senior Managing Director at Blackstone, added, “As experienced developers, we recognize that we only win if communities we are serving win alongside us. 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.”
William Sproule, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters remarked, “We wholeheartedly support the APT project with Blackstone. 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.”
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