By: Nazmul Noyim, Follow South Jersey Intern
GLASSBORO, N.J. – TD Bank has committed a $1 million grant to Rowan University and partners to establish a new “Green Jobs Academy” to prepare workers for jobs in offshore winds and solar power.
Rowan is one of 10 recipients of the TD Ready Challenge grant program, an annual competitive initiative that supports nonprofit and charitable organizations in addressing the challenges of climate change and the transition to a low-carbon economy.
“We’re so happy we could partner with TD Bank to develop educational programs that will benefit South Jersey now and far into the future,” said Rowan University President Ali A. Houshmand.
In South Jersey, there is expected to be about 7,000 new jobs in offshore wind, and 6,000 in solar power. According to U.S Bureau of Labor statistics, average pay for a wind turbine technician is $52, 230 a year, and for solar photovoltaic installers earn $46,470 a year.. The Green Jobs Academy, led by Rowan’s School of Earth and environment will recruit students for hands-on programs that lead to workforce development and certifications.
The renewable energy sector will need skilled workers with the development of Paulsboro Marine Terminal and the New Jersey Wind Port. These jobs include, construction and maintenance of wind turbines, installation and maintenance of photovoltaic systems, and management of the wind and solar business.
“We intend to provide rapid, affordable micro-credentials to people who would like to transition into the green economy,” said Dean Kenneth Lacovara. “These are all bite-sized programs that fit into the real-life schedules of students and according to their needs. We’ll give people a leg up and, at the same time, accelerate the transformation of our economy’s energy sector into something that’s greener, more sustainable and regenerative.”
In 2022, the Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering received a $500,000 federal grant to develop specialized wind energy certificates for students enrolled in “2+2” engineering technology degree programs. Rowan is working with local wind and solar employees to ensure that the programs are leading to meaningful jobs.
“We are always going to listen to the market, because the whole point is for these students to get jobs,” said Lacovara.
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