Rise Light & Power bringing Jingoli’s Competitive Edge program to South Amboy project

Program will provide Middlesex County residents with skills to contribute to emerging wind energy industry, local economy

Rise Light & Power, owner of the former Werner Generating Station in South Amboy, announced Thursday that it is starting two training programs in partnership with Jingoli Power and the Jingoli Competitive Edge program to support construction of the company’s Outerbridge Renewable Connector project.

The programs will provide highly marketable skills and training to Middlesex County residents and reinvest in the local economy.

Outerbridge will help New Jersey achieve its nation-leading offshore wind goals by repurposing the Werner site, a former coal-burning power plant, to serve as a hub connecting offshore wind turbines to the electric grid. In addition to supporting the local community’s redevelopment goals, it will also save ratepayers money and avoid impacts to beaches that have plagued other offshore wind projects.

Jingoli will serve as construction manager for the project if the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities approves Rise’s plan to bring offshore wind power cables ashore at the site of a former coal-fired power plant, Jingoli will deploy its signature Competitive Edge program, designed to keep project dollars in the community and help build a stronger local economy and workforce.

Rise CEO Clint Plummer said the partnership is a natural.

“Jingoli Power’s successful management of similar projects makes them a natural partner for our Outerbridge project,” he said. “Jingoli Competitive Edge will advance Rise’s commitment to fund and implement ways to build the local economy in Middlesex County and help train workers for the emerging clean energy industry.”

Jingoli Power CEO Karl Miller is eager to get started.

“We’re thrilled to bring the Competitive Edge program to the Outerbridge project to give trainees the opportunity to learn from experts on the job and explore our industry as a viable career path,” he said. “When you can help someone gain a valuable skill, it has the great potential to be life-changing, and that’s certainly what we hope for workers in Middlesex County.”

Jingoli, based in Lawrenceville, is active in 19 states, providing professional services for complex electric utility construction projects. Competitive Edge features two related initiatives: Middlesex County Leaders in Training and Middlesex County Train-to-Hire. Here’s how it works:

  • LIT is a paid summer work program for 100 local youth ages 14-18. Participants are paid $15 hourly to beautify their communities, clean parks, help senior citizens, plant flowers, mow lawns and support local food pantries. Students who are 18 and complete the summer program are recruited to participate in TTH program as paid project interns.
  • After completing TTH, 30 interns between the ages of 18 and 30 will be paid $18-$21 hourly to work on Outerbridge, directly for Jingoli and its subcontracting partners. For interns interested in craft work, Jingoli will connect them with labor union representatives to engage them in apprenticeship programs.

The Middlesex County program will be modeled after three similar training and employment efforts underway in Atlantic City with Atlantic City Electric on a large substation and transmission project; in Newark with Public Service Enterprise Group on a large substation project; and in New Brunswick with the New Brunswick Development Corp. on a large commercial project.

DEVCO President Chris Paladino said the program has tremendous impact.

“Jingoli’s Competitive Edge program helps break down employment barriers in construction and encourages a more diverse workforce than is traditionally represented in this industry,” he said. “In New Brunswick, we’re seeing firsthand the benefits of their construction training initiative and their summer youth program.”

Jingoli CEO Joe Jingoli said the program is more than the sum of its parts.

“The Competitive Edge program is about more than construction and project management,” he said. “It gives us an opportunity to work within a community to provide local residents with valuable skills, all while strengthening the local economy.”

South Amboy Mayor Fred Henry couldn’t agree more.

“Introducing these innovative programs to our community will provide benefits for years to come,” he said. “Not only does Rise’s Outerbridge Renewable Connector project invest in New Jersey’s clean energy future, it invests in our community’s residents and workforce development.”