On Sept. 13, New Jersey American Water launched its third annual workforce training program with a new partner: Rowan College of South Jersey.
Water UP! – Water Utility Pipeline – is a paid, nine-week course for adults that equips trainees with hands-on water utility and skills necessary to join the water and wastewater utility industry, according to the Camden-based company.
This is the first year the program was created in partnership with Rowan College, which provides participants with six technical elective college credits.
Water UP! helps adults from traditionally underserved areas gain industry skills, such as utility-specific training, customer service training, key administrative skills and OSHA 30 certification.
“The sustainability and longevity of the water utility industry is only as good as its employees, which is why it is so important that we continue training programs like Water UP! to invest in a new generation of talent,” New Jersey American Water President Mark McDonough said in a statement.
The 2023 class includes 10 adults who were selected by the utility and the college through an application and interview process. The course takes place at Rowan College’s Career and Technical Education Department and New Jersey American Water’s new Lawnside Operations Center. Rowan College administers the classroom-based business lessons, and the hands-on field training is facilitated by New Jersey American Water.
“This is a great example of how our program partnerships provide students and workers with the pathways they need to find new careers and opportunity, and to ensure that employers have access to a highly skilled workforce to meet critical labor market needs in South Jersey,” said Brigette Satchell, dean, Career and Technical Education, Rowan College.
The 2023 Water UP! program is funded by a grant from the New Jersey Governor’s Office of Climate Action, the Green Economy and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Building our Resilient, Inclusive, and Diverse Green Economy (BRIDGE) Initiative.
Several participants in the first two years of the program received employment offers from New Jersey American Water and its parent company, American Water, as well as other utility businesses or industry partners, according to the company.