Ørsted aims to use digital operations HQ in Newark to create STEM career paths for residents

Having access to Newark Liberty International Airport is great, Ørsted officials said. As is being part of the growing Newark business and entertainment ecosystem. And, of course, there’s all the great food in Ironbound.

But, on a morning when Ørsted officials rattled off all the reasons they were excited to open their new North American Digital Operations headquarters in Newark, the ability to build a next-generation workforce with the residents of the greater Newark community was as important as any.

Ørsted officials said they view New Jersey Institute of Technology and local residents as key partners now and in the future, especially when it comes to workforce development initiatives.

Thursday morning’s event highlighted the progress of Ørsted’s 10-year, $1.5 million agreement with NJIT, announced in 2021, that created new scholarship and career development opportunities in the field of offshore wind and science, technology, engineering and mathematics for the university’s exemplary engineering and computer science undergraduate students.

In addition to the scholarships, Ørsted also is working with NJIT to develop STEM education and outreach programs created to reach underrepresented students in the city through networking events, funded initiatives and college-prep programming for local elementary, middle and high school students.

These programs are offered through the university’s Center for Pre-College Programs and the NJIT-Newark Math and Science Initiative.

“We are proud that, to date, we have joined NJIT in offering scholarships to 34 university students and have provided funding to the NJIT Center for Pre-College Programs and the NJIT-Newark Math Success Initiative,” Kathleen Frangione, head of government affairs and market strategy for Ørsted, said.

“We are focused on creating local educational opportunities that build solid foundations and bridges to opportunities that enable New Jersey students to have access to new clean energy job opportunities created in their home state.”

NJIT President Teik Lim said the school appreciates the partnership.

“I am thankful to Orsted for the extraordinary $1.5 million investment they have made in support of scholarships for NJIT’s students and for programmatic support of our STEM-focused pre-college programs for middle and high school students,” he said. “This semester alone, 17 students have been named ‘Ørsted Scholars,’ benefiting from significant scholarship support, and access to networking opportunities and workforce development programs.”

The 8,200-square-foot office, located in the recently renovated Ironside Newark, will support the company’s offshore and onshore businesses. The office space is occupied by numerous, new information technology positions and serves as a base for local project development staff.

Ørsted officials said the office already supports about two dozen employees — a number they say could quickly double.

That growth is representative of Ørsted’s growing employment base throughout the state.

Through the development of the Ocean Wind 1 and Ocean Wind 2 offshore wind projects, Ørsted has generated more than $1.5 billion of economic investment.

Those numbers resonate with Wes Mathews, CEO of Choose New Jersey.

“We are thrilled to have the global leader in offshore wind as a neighbor in Newark,” he said. “There is no better place to source talent for Ørsted’s new North American Digital Operations headquarters.

“Ørsted has been a great partner to the state since it established its first office in South Jersey and, now, with this expansion in North Jersey, is continuing its significant economic investment in New Jersey.”

New Jersey first lady Tammy Murphy also praised the company at the event.

“I am so pleased to attend today’s ribbon-cutting event celebrating the grand opening of Ørsted’s second office in New Jersey,” Murphy said. “When I attended the first office opening in Atlantic City, I hoped Ørsted would expand its footprint in New Jersey, and here we stand, today in Newark. The educational, societal and economic benefits of offshore wind need to be felt throughout the state of New Jersey and the country, and today is another step toward that realization.”

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka was thrilled that a company committed to Newark — and the Newark community — was coming to the city.

“I am excited by the Ørsted/NJIT partnership to develop STEM education and outreach programs for Newark schoolchildren as well as offshore wind scholarships and career development for undergraduates,” he said.

“Newark is developing rapidly as a tech hub, and one reason is the collaborative culture of our corporate anchors and our colleges and universities. Not only is Ørsted an international leader in tackling the climate crisis, it is inspiring and helping to educate a new generation of sustainability innovators.”