IBEW Local 400 Site Tour

By Alexandra Howell, Workforce & Labor Liaison

November 13, 2023

Last week the Attentive Energy Two (AE2) team toured IBEW Local 400’s state-of-the art apprenticeship school in Monmouth County, New Jersey. Team members learned about the rigorous curriculum required for all union electricians and talked with apprentices about opportunities in the offshore wind industry, as well as answered their important questions about where the offshore wind industry is, and where it is going.  

The training already offered by the IBEW represents the gold standard in apprenticeship programs. Graduates of this five-year program are experts in the technical competencies required for electrical work and receive the highest levels of safety training. The IBEW journeyworkers enjoy the opportunity to perform their trade anywhere in the country within the IBEW and will be a key component to bringing offshore wind online in New Jersey. Recognizing the importance of building a strong union workforce to support the offshore wind industry, AE2 is proud to announce an exciting partnership with IBEW Local 400 as part of its proposal for New Jersey’s third offshore wind solicitation. On condition of being successfully selected by NJBPU AE2 will commit up to $3.15 million to IBEW Local 400 to invest in its training and recruitment efforts. This significant investment will: 

  • Create a new green energy training component to Local 400’s existing certified apprenticeship program. 
  • Foster collaboration with IBEW locals across New Jersey to create a new pre-apprenticeship program with direct entry status into the IBEW.   
  • Provide program participants with foundational safety and specialized training offerings, required for success in the offshore wind industry.  
  • Offer access to pre-apprenticeship training to all New Jersey residents, with recruitment efforts targeted to groups traditionally underrepresented in the electrical trades, including members of overburdened communities, women, veterans, differently-abled New Jersey residents and others.   

IBEW Local 400 Business Manager Robert Shimko said of the partnership, “We are excited to announce the great work we are planning to do with Attentive Energy and our collaboration to bring opportunities in offshore wind across New Jersey. If selected by the BPU, the AE2 project will help Local 400 expand its apprenticeship program to ensure a ready workforce in offshore wind. This partnership will also allow us to work with our sister locals throughout the state to offer critical pre-apprenticeship training to underrepresented groups. We were proud to introduce the AE2 team to our apprentices this week and we look forward to continuing our work for the state of New Jersey.”  

Damian Bednarz, President of Attentive Energy said, “We know that organized labor is already well-positioned to deliver training needed to support the offshore wind industry. Our conversation with Local 400’s apprentices was a great opportunity for our team to hear from the future workforce directly on the opportunities ahead. We look forward to expanding more pathways for New Jersey residents through our partnership with the IBEW.” 

Attentive Energy is committed to maintaining strong local partnerships with labor unions, which are already doing the work on the ground to build a ready workforce. We appreciated the opportunity to speak with the next generation of Local 400 members about AE2 and we thank Business Manager Shimko for his leadership and vision. We look forward to working together to bring opportunities to New Jersey residents in the years ahead.