Heldrich Report: NJ’s Energy-Efficiency Workforce Needs

June 12, 2024

New Jersey’s Energy-Efficiency Workforce Needs, Infrastructure, and Equity Assessment

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s Energy Master Plan and Executive Order 315 set a goal to reduce fossil fuel usage to 100% clean energy by 2035. The Executive Order also called for implementing strategic recommendations from the New Jersey Council on the Green Economy, including targeted job creation, educational ecosystem alignment, and piloted workforce initiatives. Understanding the energy-efficiency sector — its current landscape, challenges, and areas for growth — is critical given these efforts, especially ensuring commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion in workforce development infrastructure.

The Heldrich Center, in partnership with the Built Environment and Green Building Group at the Center for Urban Policy Research, recently conducted a study to better understand and document community needs and areas for growth in training, recruiting, hiring, and retaining students, trainees, and workers from diverse backgrounds for the state’s energy-efficiency workforce; and to produce strategies for improving workforce development infrastructure for stakeholders to consider.

The Heldrich Center is pleased to release a new report, New Jersey’s Energy-Efficiency Workforce Needs, Infrastructure, and Equity Assessment, which details the findings from this study. The report presents 12 strategies for stakeholders to implement based on eight findings supported by evidence from labor market and job posting analyses, a survey, and interviews. By strengthening workforce development infrastructure, these strategies can support a diverse, skilled, and equitable workforce in ways that help New Jersey achieve its clean-energy goals.

The report was written by Heldrich Center staff members Brittney Donovan, research project coordinator; Grace Maruska, research project coordinator; Sahar Sherwani, graduate research assistant; and Stephanie Walsh, Ph.D., assistant director. The Heldrich Center, Built Environment and Green Building Group, and Center for Urban Policy Research are all based at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

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