By Madison Miller | March 22, 2023

The Rowan University Foundation was one of the ten $1 million grant recipients across the United States and Canada for the TD Ready Challenge because of their new Green Jobs Academy initiative, which is currently in development. The TD Ready Challenge is a program that selects non-profits and organizations that are seeking to combat climate change.

Green Jobs Academy is a new program that will offer training and education to its students and will prepare them to work in the solar and wind power industries. The academy will also be building an educational wind turbine to provide students with a hands-on learning experience.

Jennifer Totora, the Marketing and Events Specialist of the Rowan’s School of Earth & Environment said the grant will help train future workers in solar and wind energy.

“For example… people would be hands-on learning how to repair and install photovoltaic systems, like really big solar panel fields, right? Or they would actually learn how to get up into the wind turbines and be one of those people who climb up there and repair them,” Totora said.

This turbine will be a full-size land wind turbine, but students in the program will also be trained to work in the offshore wind power industry. Offshore wind farms are a sustainable energy initiative that have been a hot topic in New Jersey recently.

While many people are excited about how offshore wind can be used to combat climate change, others believe that it may be harming beachside communities and ecosystems. Some people have speculated that the wind farms could be contributing to the increase in whale deaths along the East Coast, despite the fact that there has not been much evidence that these two are correlated, according to the Marine Mammal Commission (MMC), a government organization designed to protect marine ecosystems.

In a statement that went out on Feb. 21, the MMC announced that “Despite several reports in the media, there is no evidence to link these strandings to offshore wind energy development.”

The $1 million grant will be going towards building the wind turbine, getting equipment for students, providing scholarships and for the certifications.

Read the full article in The Whit

The Whit is a student-operated campus news outlet for Rowan University and a content partner with South Jersey Climate News.