Tammy Murphy awards $5M to recipients of NJ BRIDGE Initiative

First lady Tammy Murphy, together with the executive director of the Council on the Green Economy, Jane Cohen, on Monday announced the recipients of the Green Jobs Council’s $5 million New Jersey Building our Resilient, Inclusive, and Diverse Green Economy, or NJ BRIDGE, Initiative grant award.

The Governor’s Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy, in collaboration with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, announced the NJ BRIDGE Initiative’s $5 million funding opportunity to go toward organizations with innovative approaches to building and supporting a diverse, inclusive green workforce for all New Jerseyans.

“I am thrilled to recognize the recipients of the Green Jobs Council’s NJ BRIDGE Initiative grant award, whose contributions catalyze and support successful models to expand our green economy opportunities for the many unique communities in our state,” the first lady said. Murphy also serves as honorary chair of the Council on the Green Economy. “The threat of the climate crisis is serious, and there is no doubt we have already begun to feel its effects, but we are on our way to making significant changes that will help us mitigate its worst effects all while growing our economy, creating jobs and helping us reach our social justice goals.”

“These organizations exemplify the crucial role that job training plays in advancing the Council on the Green Economy’s goals. Supporting organizations that prioritize diversity & inclusion in the green economy workforce not only promotes social justice in communities across our state, but also brings fresh perspectives and innovation to address the issue of climate change,” Cohen said. “By prioritizing opportunities for underserved communities to develop the skills needed for green economy jobs, we can build a more equitable and sustainable future for all.”

Economic Development Authority CEO Tim Sullivan said the award recipients embody Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration’s aim to make the most of the potential that high-growth sectors like clean energy present to build a diverse workforce prepared to fulfill industry demand.

The recipients of the NJ BRIDGE Initiative grant award include:

  • Isles was awarded $2 million to create a Green Jobs Learning Center with a life-sized training and testing environment for building decarbonization training.
  • Clinton Hill Community Action was awarded $1.333 million to partner with the South Ward Environmental Alliance to create a diverse job-training and placement pipeline of workers for the state’s growing green economy.
  • The Eastern Atlantic States Carpenters Technical College was awarded $1.017 million to scale the Carpenter Apprentice Readiness Program (CARP) to prepare a large talent pool of diverse workers for offshore wind jobs.
  • Solar Landscape was awarded $550,000 to build Solar Training & Education Partnership for Underserved Populations (STEP-UP), an existing program that creates access to job training and job placement opportunities for members of overburdened communities.
  • Rowan College of South Jersey‘s Pathways to Green Jobs was awarded $100,000 to create certification courses and degree programs in wind turbine technologies.

“New Jersey has become a leader in the green economy during the Murphy administration, and the foundation of our continued success is the strength, ability and diversity of our workforce,” Robert Asaro-Angelo, commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development, said.  “With growing opportunities in this sector, we want to ensure every New Jerseyan has access to these high-quality, family-sustaining green jobs.”

“The Green Council and first lady Tammy Murphy are doing important work in advancing green communities and a green economy,” Joseph Fiordaliso, president of the Board of Public Utilities, said. “The $5 million in BRIDGE grant awards are laying a strong foundation for organizations and communities to develop workforce programs that are diverse, inclusive and doing the greater good for communities where they are located. The grant will also provide for job training, creating pathways to careers in New Jersey’s green economy.”

“This grant will allow the South Ward Environmental Alliance and Clinton Hill Community Action to introduce and expand green job opportunities for South Ward residents as a result of the collaboration with our partners, and set a standard for implementing green infrastructure projects, train residents to become solar installers and engage local businesses to help them see the return on investment for going green, in Newark and across the state of New Jersey,” said Kim Gaddy, founder and director, South Ward Environmental Alliance, and member of the board of directors, Clinton Hill Community Action.

“We look forward to using this BRIDGE grant award to introduce even more New Jersey residents to career paths in solar installation through our STEP-UP program,” said Kate Gold, director of community engagement for Solar Landscape. “New Jersey continues to lead the way in making our clean energy workforce stronger and more equitable. Together with our training partners, GAF, Edison Job Corps and Trinity Solar, we are helping ensure that our clean energy transition creates a diverse and inclusive workforce that puts residents on track toward rewarding, family-sustaining jobs here in New Jersey.”

“Rowan College of South Jersey is excited to receive the funding from this grant to support training and development for individuals interested in pursuing careers in the green energy sector. Funding from this opportunity will allow the college to recruit, prepare and train individuals from diverse backgrounds for the emerging green energy jobs in the wind and water industries. This funding will help relieve financial burdens for individuals in training and will allow for paid training opportunities in green energy throughout the region,” said Brenden Rickards of Rowan College of South Jersey.

“The Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters is proud to have earned the Green Jobs for Sustainable Future: BRIDGE Grant award,” said Rob Smith, executive training director, Eastern Atlantic States Carpenters Technical College. “The offshore wind industry is a job creator that will need skilled, professional and safe construction workers that a union apprenticeship program can provide better than anyone else. This grant will assist in our joint effort of exposing a new generation of construction workers to the complexity of skills needed to be successful in the offshore and green jobs workforce. The Eastern Atlantic States Carpenters Technical College has already invested in the resources necessary for this training through our recently expanded Infrastructure, Piledriving and Offshore Wind Training Facility in Hammonton and our new Commercial Dive School in Sicklerville. This grant will help us continue to lead in training for the future jobs of New Jersey.”

“At Isles, we meet people where they are to assess not only what technical skills they need, but also what life skills and personal supports they need to be successful,” said Andre Thomas, Isles’ training manager. “From transportation assistance, to financial counseling that helps clean up debts and set budget goals for things like homeownership, the grant Isles receives today from Gov. Murphy will help us accomplish all these goals.”