Ørsted and Rowan College of South Jersey have announced Wind Power Ready: Atlantic City (WPR:AC), a wind training program created to reduce barriers to employment that disproportionately burden women, members of Black and brown communities, and individuals that have been negatively impacted by the disproportionate effect of pollution and contamination on minority and low-income communities.
The workforce development program will recruit, train and place local candidates in careers as wind farm technicians with Ørsted and other developers within the American offshore wind industry. It seeks to identify up to 24 candidates immediately, with applications due in early June 2023. Accepted students will be notified by the end of June, with education and training expected to begin in late July and finish in December 2023.
Ørsted is committed to hiring at least 40% of incoming Ocean Wind 1 wind farm technicians from the pool of WPR: AC graduates in early 2024, offering a direct pathway to a potential career as a wind turbine technician, a critical role needed to support the growing offshore wind industry in the U.S. Local recruitment efforts to hire support personnel for an operations and maintenance facility currently under construction in Atlantic City will commence later this year.
“Wind Power Ready was custom created to offer training, support and career opportunities for residents of Atlantic City and New Jersey who wish to become a part of the region’s green energy evolution, while earning family-sustaining incomes,” said Maddy Urbish, Ørsted’s head of government affairs and market strategy, New Jersey.
The program is supported through grant funds from Ørsted, the New Jersey Wind Institute for Innovation and Training through the NJEDA, the Governor’s Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy, and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. Atlantic Cape Community College will provide training and applicant support. The Center for Family Services will provide supportive services.
Students will be paid $15 per hour while enrolled in full-time training and connected with supportive services including transportation, childcare, housing, counseling and more to help facilitate their success in training and as wind farm technicians. The program, including application fees, travel, personal protective equipment and tuition, is free to students.
Applicants must be over the age of 18, have a high school diploma or equivalent, be able to perform the physical requirements of the job and be able to travel away from home for up to two weeks at a time. Interested recruits will be required to pass a math and reading aptitude assessment during the application process. Hired entry-level wind farm technicians working on Ocean Wind 1 will receive salaries of at least $65,000 per year, plus benefits.
The first information sessions for interested students will be held on May 4 at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., at Community Baptist Church, 234 New Jersey Avenue, Atlantic City. Similar recruitment events will continue throughout the month of May.
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