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Empowering South Jersey: Atlantic City Infrastructure Program Creates Jobs and Futures


Empowering South Jersey: Atlantic City Infrastructure Program Creates Jobs and Futures
The latest group of 20 residents from Atlantic City has successfully completed the 16-week Atlantic City Infrastructure Program (ACIP), a training initiative aimed at preparing locals for careers in the energy sector. This program, facilitated by the City of Atlantic City and Atlantic City Electric, concluded with a graduation ceremony held at Stockton University’s Atlantic City Academic Center, attended by graduates, their families, and various regional officials.
Austin King, a graduate of this second ACIP cohort, expressed gratitude for the opportunity the program provided to develop crucial skills, which he believes are instrumental to his future success. He emphasized the positive impact not only on his life but also on his family's.
The ACIP offers Atlantic City residents a pathway to employment in the energy industry, guaranteeing a job opportunity upon graduation either with Atlantic City Electric or one of its preferred contractors. Specifically targeting under-resourced members of the community, the program equips participants with utility training and essential work-ready skills, positioning them for promising careers in the energy sector. With 46 participants graduating since its inception in September 2022, the program has shown significant success.
Mayor Marty Small of Atlantic City commended the program's achievements, noting the opportunities it has provided for residents to kick-start their careers, with some already achieving substantial income levels. He expressed gratitude for the ongoing collaboration with Atlantic City Electric and Pepco Holdings in realizing the residents' aspirations through this initiative.
Tyler Anthony, President and CEO of Pepco Holdings, highlighted the transformative impact of ACIP on graduates, emphasizing its role in empowering communities and shaping the future of energy.
Participants in the second cohort underwent a comprehensive 16-week curriculum, attending sessions twice a week for three hours each at Atlantic Cape Community College’s Worthington Campus in Atlantic City. The program, delivered in partnership with the Atlantic County Workforce Development Board, also included a $1,500 stipend for participants.
The Atlantic City Infrastructure Program is part of a larger initiative, the six-year, $6.5 million South Jersey Workforce Development Program, initiated by Atlantic City Electric in 2018. This broader effort, in collaboration with seven South Jersey Community Colleges and Workforce Development Boards, aligns with Mayor Small’s vision of equipping Atlantic City residents with the necessary tools for successful careers and workplace prosperity.
The Atlantic City Infrastructure Program stands as a prime example of a collaborative effort between corporations and the community, aiming to provide employment opportunities with Atlantic City Electric or its selected contractors for every graduate. This initiative not only fosters the development of New Jersey's future energy workforce but also positively impacts the lives of individuals and families in Atlantic City, contributing to the growth of South Jersey's economy. The third cohort is scheduled to commence on April 10, 2024.
Robert Asaro-Angelo, Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Labor, highlighted the significance of such partnerships in supporting workforce development efforts amidst the increasing infrastructure projects and investments in New Jersey. He expressed gratitude for the commitment of municipal partners and employers like Atlantic City Electric in enhancing the state's workforce.
Fran Kuhn, Executive Director of the Atlantic County Workforce Development Board, extended congratulations to the graduates for successfully completing the program, emphasizing that their achievements qualify them as candidates for employment opportunities within Atlantic City Electric and its affiliated partners. Kuhn emphasized the transformative potential of the program in enabling graduates to pursue careers in the electric utility sector, a possibility that may have seemed out of reach previously.
Apart from these targeted workforce development initiatives, Atlantic City Electric has launched various programs to expand career opportunities for residents and students across South Jersey: 
  • Partnering with Jingoli Power, the company created jobs for 16 young adults from Atlantic City as part of the Atlantic City/Brigantine Community Reliability Project.
  • The High School Energy Career Academy is a comprehensive four-year program designed to prepare students in grades 9 through 12 for higher education or direct entry into the energy industry workforce.
  • The Spark Internship Program offers an eight-week paid summer internship along with work-readiness education for high school juniors and seniors from South Jersey interested in various energy industry-related fields.
  • Through the Community Scholars Program, hundreds of students from South Jersey have received financial support of up to $5,000 to pursue degrees in STEM and business-related fields.
Additionally, workforce development initiatives continuing under the Small administration in Atlantic City in 2024 include the Small Business Academy, the Investment Cohort, and the Ernest Trans Trucking School. This year, the city will introduce a free Welding program catering to both students and adults in Atlantic City.
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