Commitment to Community Engagement: Attentive Energy Two Around the Garden State A Week’s Review of the Paulsboro Community Roundtable, Elizabeth Supplier Diversity Day, Asbury Park Senior Day, and Rutgers Newark Community Engagement Panel By Favio German, Community Engagement Manager January 31, 2024 As a proud member of the Attentive Energy Two (AE2) team, I am excited to share our unwavering dedication to putting communities first, both on and off the coast. For over five years, community engagement has been the beating heart of our strategy in New Jersey. Last week marked a significant milestone as we were awarded one of the largest offshore wind contracts in the Garden State. The award came as our team was on the ground hosting a series of events across northern, central, and southern New Jersey. AE2 team members kicked off the week in Paulsboro, a hub of offshore wind manufacturing, with a community roundtable co-hosted by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Posts 678 and 5579. Our goal was clear – to communicate the benefits of the offshore wind industry and how small business owners and local leaders can participate in the economic development that will be spurred by offshore wind locally. We provided onsite small group conversations and conducted a Q&A to local school district administrators. We also learned about the challenges faced by veteran and minority business owners in finding contract opportunities and received feedback from Board members of the Paulsboro Schools District about how to effectively introduce offshore wind education to their students. The positive endorsement we received from these administrators is not just a nod of approval but a catalyst for us to expand our initiatives to larger segments of students and families within Paulsboro and surrounding communities. On Wednesday, we co-hosted the Elizabeth Supplier Diversity Day with the Greater Elizabeth Chamber of Commerce. Here, our focus was on supply chain and educating local small and diverse businesses about the economic benefits the offshore wind industry will bring to New Jersey residents. We actively shared resources about the offshore wind project timeline and best practices, equipping businesses with the tools to become “opportunity-ready” within the offshore wind supply chain. This included insights into contract and grant opportunities, empowering local businesses to play an integral role in the sustainable growth of our industry. Our commitment to connecting with all members of a community took center stage on Thursday in Asbury Park, where along with the West Side Community Center Historic Restoration Association, we co-hosted a “Senior Day”. The event included a presentation and interactive activities to help older adults learn about the industry. We provided the participants with a crash course on the technical and non-technical components of offshore wind development. The session concluded with a team trivia game testing participant’s new knowledge of offshore wind and local NJ history. At this event, we learned about the rich history of Asbury Park, the recent economic development challenges, and how critical it will be to continue working with various Monmouth County populations to create pathways for offshore wind careers. We rounded off the week by participating in a community engagement panel hosted by Rutgers Newark. The panel brought subject matter experts from the offshore wind industry and the local community together to explore how communities can more directly be included in the development of large-scale projects, specifically offshore wind. The event also included facilitated small group discussions where participants worked in conjunction to propose strategies to improve the introduction of the industry into communities. Our team was able to share the insights gathered from the week’s engagements to advance the conversation and highlight how comprehensive economic development and community-minded investments were common priorities for communities from across the state. Community engagement is not a checkbox for Attentive Energy Two – it is the essence of our approach to our project. Our recent offshore wind award in New Jersey is a celebration of the deep relationships we have cultivated with communities across the state. The Paulsboro Community Roundtable, Elizabeth Supplier Diversity Day, Asbury Park Senior Day, and Rutgers Newark Community Engagement Panel exemplify how Attentive Energy Two is translating its mission into meaningful action, emphasizing a desire to learn, consistency, and inclusivity. As we continue this journey towards a greener future, our commitment to putting communities first remains unwavering, guiding us towards a future where our project success and community well-being and opportunities go hand in hand.