The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU), along with the New Jersey Utilities Association (NJUA) and the regulated utility companies this week are recognizing New Jersey Careers in Utilities Week. Last year, Governor Christie signed legislation that designates the third week in October to be observed as New Jersey Career in Utilities Week to celebrate the state’s investor-owned public utility workforce and to draw attention to employment opportunities in the public utility sector.
New Jersey Careers in Utilities Week raises awareness of energy careers and their importance to our communities. It also serves as a way to acknowledge the more than 38,000 men and women employed by New Jersey’s investor-owned public utilities that maintain, operate, and support the infrastructure that serves New Jersey residents and businesses.
“New Jersey Careers in Utilities Week is an important way of highlighting the everyday work that occurs in support of our state’s public utility infrastructure and the importance of having a prepared and highly trained workforce ready to respond to all challenges, from storm outages to cybersecurity,” said New Jersey Board of Public Utilities President Richard S. Mroz. “It is also important for us recognize the significant economic impact these jobs and the industry have on New Jersey’s economy. New Jersey’s investor-owned utilities employ approximately 38,000 workers with combined payroll in excess of $2.7 billion per year, while also making combined capital expenditures of approximately $6 billion in each of the last two years.”
“New Jersey Careers in Utilities Week is both a way to celebrate our industry and to emphasize its importance to the state’s economy,” said Andrew Hendry, President and CEO of NJUA, the statewide trade association for investor-owned utilities. “It is critical that utilities have access to a well-trained labor pool. It is also extremely important for the state’s economy that we are able to continue to fill these very important jobs.”
New Jersey Careers in Utilities Week was established through a joint resolution unanimously approved by both houses of the New Jersey Legislature. The week also coincides with the Center for Energy Workforce Development’s Careers in Energy Week and was developed to raise awareness of the job opportunities available in the utility industry.
“As we experienced with Superstorm Sandy and have seen with the recent hurricanes causing devastation in Texas, Puerto Rico, and Florida, improving resilience of utility service starts with having a prepared and highly trained workforce ready to respond whenever and wherever needed,” said Mary Patricia Keefe, Chairperson of NJUA’s Board of Directors and Vice President of External Affairs and Business Support for Elizabethtown Gas. “While highlighting the great career opportunities in the utility industry underscores opportunities available for those choosing a vocation, the Careers in Utilities Week also helps to ensure that the utility sector has the quality workers needed for the future.”