Energy-efficiency work is on the rise in New Jersey, according to PSEG. And the state’s largest gas and electric delivery public utility wants to provide residents with the right training for careers in the sector.
As part of its Clean Energy Jobs program, PSEG announced April 6 an initiative to provide low- to moderate-income residents with the skills needed to succeed in the energy-efficiency sector. The program is designed to put up to 2,000 people to work in the field, the company said.
According to PSEG, its program has already put about 700 people to work to support the utility’s $1 billion energy-efficiency initiative, which also aims to help customers save money, reduce their energy use and shrink their carbon footprint. Hiring is expected to continue this year.
“The jobs program is a great example of PSEG’s commitment to being a positive force in a changing world,” PSE&G President Kim Hanemann said in a statement. “There is a shortage of workers with the skills needed to implement energy efficiency at the scale we are pursuing. The Clean Energy Jobs Program is an innovative approach that will help close the skills gap and provide career opportunities to residents of underserved communities. Equity is one of our guiding principles, and we want all New Jersey communities to share in the benefits of the clean energy transformation.”
As part of the training program, industry experts teach candidates the skills and competencies needed to supply energy-efficiency services. It also provides a living wage to participants while they attend courses in clean energy, technical skills, interpersonal skills, job readiness and on-the-job functions.
The program also provides services such as child care, transportation and resume-writing assistance. Training is mostly virtual, PSEG said, and any in-person classes follow New Jersey COVID-19 protocols.
Potential careers include field technicians, weatherization technicians, administrative professionals and energy-efficiency specialists.
PSEG is working with the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development and local organizations to recruit candidates. The program seeks candidates from underserved communities with no prior experience in clean energy, but with “intangible skills such as desire, passion, commitment and a strong work ethic.”=