Funds are now available through the Building our Resilient, Inclusive, and Diverse Green Economy, or NJ BRIDGE, initiative to fund projects to support residents entering the green workforce or climbing the green career ladder, with a focus on engagement in overburdened communities, according to a Wednesday announcement.
Thanks to Gov. Phil Murphy’s Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy, in collaboration with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, a total of $5 million was released to support innovative pilot programs focused on building a diverse, inclusive green workforce. Additionally, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority will begin accepting applications for a $3.725 million Offshore Wind Workforce and Skills Development Grant Challenge.
Together, the more than $8 million will help New Jerseyans, particularly those in overburdened communities, by aiding in launching or expanding workforce training and skills programs focused on strengthening and diversifying New Jersey’s offshore wind workforce.
“My administration is proud to provide crucial support for new and existing opportunities in the green jobs sector for all New Jerseyans, including members of overburdened communities who have disproportionately experienced climate impacts,” Murphy said. “These significant funding commitments and interdepartmental synergies testify to our comprehensive, all-of-government approach to positioning New Jersey as a national leader in the green economy. As we work to protect our vulnerable communities from the effects of climate change, we will also ensure that they are equipped with the resources they need to reap the optimal benefits of our state’s transition to a 100% clean energy economy.”
“The state’s emerging offshore wind industry, and the green energy sector overall, is creating a wealth of attractive, family-sustaining career opportunities. We have a responsibility to make sure New Jerseyans from all backgrounds have access to the training needed to safely and skillfully perform those jobs,” NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan said. “Gov. Murphy is equally committed to the success of New Jersey workers aspiring to work in this growing industry and the offshore wind companies that are choosing to invest here.”
“As New Jersey’s green economy continues to grow, it is crucial that we provide opportunities for a diverse workforce to fill all of the clean energy jobs we are creating as we work toward a 100% clean energy future,” Joseph Fiordaliso, New Jersey Board of Public Utilities president and co-chair of the Council on the Green Economy, said. “NJBPU has long been a champion of a diverse workforce in the utility and clean energy sectors. During the Murphy administration, we have focused on ensuring the green programs aimed at increasing the clean energy footprint in environmental justice communities offer good paying job opportunities to the residents of those communities.”