Cap Atlantique inaugurates a wind training center

Atlantic Cape Community College on Thursday, October 28, inaugurated a 1,700 square foot wind training center on the Worthington Atlantic City campus as part of a nearly $ 3 million state grant to develop the state offshore wind industry.

“Offshore wind power on the Atlantic coast has enormous potential to spur economic development and diversification in our region, which is needed more than ever as we begin to recover from the pandemic,” said the president of Atlantic Cape, Dr Barbara Gaba. “We are excited to be able to play a key role in this clean energy transformation by providing the education and workforce training programs needed to support this growing industry. “

The Atlantic Cape Wind Training Center is funded by the New Jersey Offshore Wind Safety Training Challenge grant, awarded to the college in July and administered by the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education with support from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. With the grant, the college will establish an industry-recognized Global Wind Organization (GWO) safety training program and facility to prepare New Jersey workers for jobs in the growing offshore wind industry. state, as well as establishing a sea survival module at Gardner’s Basin.

“The Atlantic Cape Wind Training Center will be a huge asset to our state’s clean energy infrastructure. It prepares the Atlantic City region’s workforce for well-paying offshore wind jobs while diversifying the city’s economy, ”said Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, who is the ministry’s commissioner. of Community Affairs. “By investing in the blue economy, the administration is moving closer to our clean energy goal of generating 7.5 gigawatts of offshore wind power by 2035.”

Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small Sr. praised the college and the state for investing in a new industry in Atlantic City.

“We are delighted to host the Wind Training Center in Atlantic City and to host the in-water training portion of this program at Gardner’s Basin,” said Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small Sr. building these training facilities, we strive for our community by providing hundreds of jobs and a path to stable employment. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Atlantic Cape Community College on this historic project. The college’s GWO certified partners, Arcon Training Center, AIS Training and 3t Energy Group, have been working with Atlantic Cape officials over the past few months to bring this project to fruition.

“We plan to open the doors of the training center by fall 2022, when future offshore wind technicians and other offshore workers from across the country travel to Atlantic City to complete their safety training,” Gaba explained. . “We plan to train over 1,800 students working in the offshore wind industry in the first year. “

Gaba also announced that the Atlantic Cape Foundation has pledged $ 25,000 for scholarships to students enrolled in the Wind Training Center program.

“This represents a monumental step forward as New Jersey continues to position itself as a global leader in clean energy and nurture opportunities for our workforce to advance in growth. A wave of offshore wind projects slated for development along the east coast over the next decade will create a unique opportunity for green growth, ”said Higher Education Secretary Dr.

Brian Bridges, who spoke at the opening. “There is no better place to develop the offshore wind industry than here in New Jersey. And I’m delighted that the Wind Training Center on the Atlantic Cape campus is preparing our students for careers in New Jersey’s growing offshore wind industry and opening their eyes to areas they may not have. not even considered.

Currently, Ørsted is developing two offshore wind projects off the coast of New Jersey with the capacity to generate more than 2,200 MW of clean energy. Ørsted’s first project, Ocean Wind 1, received New Jersey Board of Public Utilities approval in 2019, and Ocean Wind 2’s second, received BPU approval in June 2021.

Strategically located near established offshore wind turbine rental areas and close to the proposed port for the operation and maintenance of oceanic wind turbines in Atlantic City, the Atlantic Cape Wind Training Center will help address a key development need of the work force.

Three offshore wind projects have been approved to date by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, representing half of the state’s clean energy target. These projects will power 1.6 million homes, inject $ 4.7 billion into the state’s economy and create thousands of jobs, said Jim Ferris, head of the Office of New Technologies, Energy Division. clean, BPU.

“But for us to reap these economic benefits, we need a skilled workforce. And that is why this innovation today for this training facility is so important and is such an important step forward, ”Ferris said Thursday. “This facility will train the offshore wind workforce we will need for our projects. It will also train a workforce for other projects that will take place along the east coast. “

“Since taking office, Governor Murphy has prioritized investing in high-growth, high-wage people and sectors, including offshore wind. The Atlantic Cape Wind Training Center will help achieve both of these goals, ”said Tim Sullivan, president and CEO of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. “The Center will prepare students with the training necessary to qualify for promising career opportunities while supporting New Jersey’s growing offshore wind industry with a pipeline of uniquely skilled talent.”

“We commend Dr Gaba and the leaders of the Atlantic Cape Community College for preparing to train workers to be part of the growing field of offshore wind development,” said Davon McCurry, Chief Ørsted Government and Market Affairs Assistant for New Jersey. “Over the next few years, we will be opening an O&M facility in Atlantic City near the Wind Training Center and we look forward to working with ACCC in the development and deployment of these career opportunities. “

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