(Press Release from NJ.Gov)
NEWARK – First Lady Tammy Murphy, joined by the Executive Director of the Council on the Green Economy, Jane Cohen, today hosted a roundtable to announce the recipients of the Green Jobs Council’s $5 million NJ Building our Resilient, Inclusive, and Diverse Green Economy (BRIDGE) Initiative grant award. In addition to the First Lady and Executive Director Cohen, panelists included representatives from each grant award recipient organization, which represent a variety of green economic sectors. Each organization is working to advance the Council on the Green Economy’s mission of building a diverse, inclusive workforce to support the Administration’s clean energy goals.
“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.”
To address recommendations in the 2022 Green Jobs for a Sustainable Future report, the Governor’s Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy (OCAGE), in collaboration with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protections (DEP), announced the NJ BRIDGE Initiative’s $5 million funding opportunity to go towards 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,” said First Lady Tammy Murphy, who also serves as Honorary Chair to 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.”
The EAS Carpenters will utilize this grant to assist in their already successful Carpenter Apprentice Readiness Program (CARP) to prepare a large talent pool of diverse workers for offshore wind jobs. This pre-apprenticeship program has provided the union to expand its recruitment efforts in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia and provides pre-apprentices with soft skills, professionalism skills, and a better understanding of the construction industry. The program looks for workers who may not have considered the trades as a career path and are not connected with the union through family already.
“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 and 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,” said Jane Cohen, Executive Director, Council on the Green Economy. “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.”
“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,” said Robert Asaro-Angelo, Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. “With growing opportunities in this sector, we want to ensure every New Jerseyan has access to these high-quality, family-sustaining green jobs.”