Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind, the 50-50 joint venture between EDF Renewables North America and Shell New Energies US, unveiled a memorandum of understanding with six unions operating in New Jersey as part of its bid submission, committing to help develop and employ a productive, safe, well-trained local workforce. With this agreement, Atlantic Shores is solidifying its place at the forefront of not only the state’s burgeoning offshore wind industry but also as a creator of new, union workforce opportunities for decades to come.
Signed by Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters, Laborers’ International Union of North America, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 456, Local 400 and Local 351, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 825, Ironworkers International and Eastern Millwright Regional Council, the labor agreement is the strongest commitment to date by a United States offshore wind developer to train local residents and tradespeople, and use union labor and employers wherever possible.
“Union labor helped to build New Jersey, and if our bid is selected, union labor will be central to building its renewable energy infrastructure and sustainable future,” said Joris Veldhoven, commercial director at Atlantic Shores. “As a developer, we are proud to commit to working with these six unions, training and cultivating a robust offshore wind workforce. We hope this will serve as a model for local labor partnerships in the offshore wind industry.”
“We’re very pleased to have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Atlantic Shores. They appreciate the value that working with New Jersey’s organized labor brings to the offshore wind industry. Organized labor offers the most skilled and best trained men and women in the state with the skills necessary for this industry to grow. Atlantic Shores is taking a proactive approach to working with local unions through signing this agreement and we look forward to our future together,” said Bill Sproule, executive secretary treasurer, Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters (EASRCC). The EASRCC represents approximately 40,000 union carpenters across the Northeast and Puerto Rico.
Specifically, this agreement outlines how the unions and Atlantic Shores will work together to:
- Create state-of-the-art training and apprenticeship programs for New Jersey workers to support not just the project but the broader offshore wind industry;
- Further integrate union workers into the offshore wind workforce, including encouraging suppliers or contractors bidding to be part of the project to enter into labor agreements; and
- Support the Helmets to Hardhats Program, which helps military and US Coast Guard personnel, as well as National Guardsmen and Reservists, transition into careers in offshore wind.
If selected, the wind project would create hundreds of direct local jobs and generate as much as 2,300 MW of renewable energy powering the equivalent of over 1 million homes.
“The economic future for New Jersey, and the country, will rest on our ability to deliver affordable, reliable energy — this means navigating the complicated regulatory processes that engulf citing energy generation and transmission,” said Mark Longo, Director of ELEC825. “Anything that streamlines the process is a huge win for all New Jersey. We applaud this proactive step toward making this project a reality through a partnership with the hard-working men and women of the construction trades.”
News item from Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind