According to a recent Op-Ed in the New Jersey Star-Ledger, wind energy is going to mean union jobs. The Op-Ed, “Steelworkers and Windmills–Perfect Together,” co-authored by Del Vitale, Director of District 4 for the United Steelworkers and Debra Coyle McFadden, Executive Director for the New Jersey Work Environment Council–both organizations that are partners in the Jersey Renews coalition, which recently sponsored the Time for Turbines Conference.
They explain that Ørsted, “a developer of offshore wind power that already operates energy generation facilities in Rhode Island and constructed pilot sites in Virginia, among other projects” recently reached an agreement with North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) “to train a generation of construction workers for the company’s ambitious expansion.” Furthermore, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy just announced that “Ørsted and German manufacturer EEW will partner on a $250 million factory at Paulsboro Marine Terminal to make steel platforms for offshore wind turbines in the Northeast and across the United States.”
The result? “Millions of manufacturing workers in United Steelworkers and other unions across the country anticipate a major role in this vitally important effort.”
Want to know more? Watch the 2021 Time for Turbines conference, which brings together policymakers, labor and environmental advocates and wind energy professionals to discuss New Jersey’s rapidly expanding offshore wind industry. The conference focused on workforce development and equity in the offshore wind industry, with an emphasis on identifying access barriers to good jobs in this field and offering policy solutions. Videos from the various panels can be found here.