Trades Council offers strong support for offshore wind industry

15 groups signed letter, which preaches benefits of union labor in sector

New Jersey Building and Construction Trades Council members signed a letter of support to bring the offshore wind industry to the state, saying the industry will provide a much-needed economic boost by creating union jobs in manufacturing, construction, operations, maintenance, research and related businesses.

The letter said New Jersey is on the right trajectory to become the region’s hub for offshore wind. As offshore wind’s potential grows, the job opportunities are boundless. The industry could create 83,000 jobs in the United States and drive $25 billion in annual economic output in the next decade, according to the American Wind Energy Association.

“As we begin to consider the training, preparation and talent these jobs will require to build, install and maintain turbines, we must ensure the offshore wind industry continues New Jersey’s record of ardent support for union jobs,” the letter said.

“As history has shown, union jobs lead to careers, contributing to a strong middle class in the state by employing local New Jersey residents, rather than allowing underpaid and unqualified workers tied to out-of-state contractors from other regions of the country.”

The letter comes on the heels of last Thursday’s groundbreaking for a $250 million, 200-acre New Jersey Wind Port in Salem County.

The New Jersey Wind Port is projected to create 1,500 permanent jobs and generate $500 million per year in economic activity. The Project Labor Agreement signed last week is the latest example of the commitment that New Jersey is creating and maintaining family-supporting, and community-supporting, union building trades jobs, the unions said.

The letter was signed by Bill Mullen, the president of the New Jersey Building and Construction Trades Council.

The council includes:

  • Bricklayers and allied craftworkers;
  • Electrical workers;
  • Sheetmetal workers;
  • Ironworkers;
  • Carpenters;
  • Laborers;
  • Pipe trades;
  • Operating engineers;
  • Teamsters;
  • Plasterers and cement masons;
  • Roofers;
  • Boilermakers;
  • Elevator constructors;
  • Painters;
  • Insulators.