TRENTON, NJ – The third week in October will now be recognized annually as New Jersey Careers in Utilities Week, thanks to legislation signed last week by Governor Chris Christie.
Sponsored by Senators Fred H. Madden, Jr. and Shirley K. Turner with Assemblymen Wayne P. DeAngelo, Parker Space and Eric Houghtaling and Assemblywoman Gail Phoebus, the joint resolution, which was unanimously approved by both houses of the New Jersey Legislature in September, recognizes the state's investor-owned public utility workforce and various employment opportunities in public utilities.
The week coincides with the Center for Energy Workforce Development’s (CEWD) Careers in Energy Week, which is dedicated to celebrating and raising awareness of energy careers and their importance to our communities, state, and nation. New Jersey Careers in Utilities Week also serves as a way to acknowledge the more than 28,000 service-minded men and women employed by the State’s investor-owned public utilities who maintain, operate and support the infrastructure that serve New Jersey residents and businesses 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week, 365-days-a-year.
CEWD has found that nearly 55 percent of the electric and natural gas public utility workforce may need to be replaced in the next decade due to retirements, nationwide.
“As current employees retire, it’s critical a future generation is trained, educated and in place to maintain this vital industry that serves as the backbone of our state’s economy,” said Andrew Hendry, President and CEO of the New Jersey Utilities Association, the statewide trade association for investor-owned utilities. “NJUA and our member utility companies recognize the value of a talented and educated workforce and are committed to educating the public as a means to develop the workforce of the future.”
“The services provided by the public utilities give us clean water, electricity, telephone and internet service and heat – all basic needs we rely on daily. But without the hard-working men and women who keep our utilities operating, none of this would be possible,” said Mary Patricia Keefe, chairperson of NJUA’s board of directors and vice president of regulatory affairs and business support for Elizabethtown Gas. “New Jersey Careers in Utilities Week is not only a way to highlight the employment opportunities provided by these companies, but it also reminds us of the New Jersey residents who operate our critical infrastructure each and every day but often go unrecognized.”
This year, New Jersey Careers in Utilities Week was recognized October 17 through 21.