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For Immediate Release: Contact: Peter Peretzman
Date: 10/19/2020 609-984-9707

Recognizes essential utility workers, hosts expert panel discussion

 

Trenton, N.J.—The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) is celebrating “Careers in Utilities Week” to acknowledge the state’s public utility workforce and to raise awareness of growing career opportunities within the industry. As essential employees, utility workers have been critical to maintaining our way of life throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring access to vital services – water, wastewater, electricity, natural gas, telecommunications, and cable television. Governor Phil Murphy also issued a proclamation today, officially designating October 19-23, 2020 as Careers in Utilities Week in New Jersey.

 

“More than 38,000 men and women in New Jersey are working around the clock to ensure we have reliable and safe utility service,” said NJBPU President Joseph L. Fiordaliso. “These jobs are essential to our way of life and utility workers deserve recognition, especially now as we battle the ongoing pandemic alongside the destructive impacts of climate change. The utility and clean energy sectors offer stable, good-paying jobs for folks of all backgrounds and experience. Utility careers are vital to our everyday life and will contribute immensely to our economic recovery from COVID-19 and our transition to clean energy. By highlighting Careers in Utilities Week, we can raise awareness of the importance of these jobs and lead people to opportunities industry.”

 

On October 20, President Fiordaliso will host a virtual roundtable discussion with expert panelists about how the state’s utility workforce is playing an integral role in delivering essential services throughout the pandemic, and how the sector – boosted by growing clean energy jobs – can serve as a boon to New Jersey’s economic recovery. Panelists include:

 

  • Assistant Commissioner Hugh Bailey, NJ Department of Labor & Workforce Development (NJLWD)
  • Cheryl Norton, President, New Jersey American Water
  • Christina Farrell, Government and Public Affairs Director, New Jersey Utilities Association (NJUA)
  • Judy Savage, Exec. Director, New Jersey Council of County Vocational-Technical Schools

 

New Jersey’s public utilities – in collaboration with NJLWD, NJUA, and the New Jersey Community College Consortium for Workforce and Economic Development – offer certified apprenticeship and training programs to prepare the next generation of public utility employees. These jobs provide individuals of diverse backgrounds, careers stages, and levels of education the opportunity gain meaningful employment in this vital industry.

 

According to NJLWD, the average salary in the utility industry is over $120,000, with entry-level salaries starting around $53,000. Top occupational groups in the utility industry include HVAC and refrigeration mechanics, meter readers, lineworkers, and power plant operators. New Jersey’s fastest-growing occupation is solar photovoltaic (PV) installer, and offshore wind development is expected to bring an additional 15,000 jobs over the next 20 years.

 

As New Jersey implements Governor Murphy’s Energy Master Plan, employment opportunities in the utility and clean energy sectors are expected to grow with the state’s transition to 100 percent clean energy by 2050. The Governor’s vision for a clean energy innovation economy will create tens of thousands of equitable jobs in both new and existing industries, including solar, energy efficiency, community solar, electric vehicles, and offshore wind.

 

NJBPU is promoting Careers in Utilities Week on social media using the hashtag #UtilityCareersNJ. More information about utility employment can be found at nj.gov/bpu/about/employment/, from NJLWD, and on each utility company’s website.

 

 

About the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU)

NJBPU is a state agency and regulatory authority mandated to ensure safe, adequate and proper utility services at reasonable rates for New Jersey customers. Critical services regulated by NJBPU include natural gas, electricity, water, wastewater, telecommunications and cable television. The Board has general oversight and responsibility for monitoring utility service, responding to consumer complaints, and investigating utility accidents. To find out more about NJBPU, visit our website at www.nj.gov/bpu.