NJEDA approves creation of $7M program to prepare New Jersey residents for jobs in green economy

A $7 million grant program was approved Thursday by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority to create the Green Workforce Training Grant Challenge aimed at preparing New Jerseyans for green economy careers.

“Gov. Phil Murphy is committed to investing in our clean energy future, and, through programs like the Green Workforce Training Grant, the NJEDA is spearheading initiatives that increase access to skills and training, putting New Jerseyans at the forefront of green economy careers,” NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan said. “Through this important workforce development program, New Jersey is investing in our clean energy future by expanding opportunities and ensuring equitable access to good-paying jobs for all residents, especially those in overburdened communities.”

The program, which is funded with $4.35 million through the Council on the Green Economy and $2.65 million from the Wind Institute, will have a particular focus on advancing diversity, equity & inclusion and serving overburdened communities.

Grants from $250,000 up to $1.5 million are available. Applicants will be asked to submit proposals that outline their plans to develop and implement workforce supports to bolster the green economy. Awardees may use funds to cover design, planning, capital and implementation costs to offer training programs in green economy industries.

“The Green Workforce Training Grant Challenge is a unique chance for entities across the state of New Jersey, as it provides funds for them to train residents for jobs in the green economy, while ensuring a diverse workforce,” Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy and Council on the Green Economy Eric Miller said. “This Grant Challenge will provide long-lasting solutions that will protect our environment while creating opportunities for our state’s workforce.”

“We are experiencing a clean-energy renaissance, and New Jersey is positioning its residents to succeed in this emerging industry,” NJEDA Vice President of Offshore Wind Jen Becker said. “This grant challenge will build our talent pipeline for the growing offshore wind and green economy sectors and will help to ensure equitable access to the industry for diverse workers and overburdened communities.”

Eligible applicants include, but are not limited to, community-based organizations, workforce training organizations, labor unions, technical high schools, county colleges, nonprofits, regional workforce development boards and private-sector companies. Applicants must include at least one Community-Based Organization that serves one or more New Jersey overburdened communities as part of their application.