New Jersey American Water hosts graduation ceremony for workforce development program

New Jersey American Water recently hosted a graduation ceremony for the third annual Water Utility Pipeline, or Water UP!, training program, a paid, 9-week workforce development program for adults in partnership with Rowan College of South Jersey. This year’s cohort of nine adults, mostly from Camden, received hands-on water utility industry and essential classroom-based business training necessary to join the water and wastewater utility industry upon graduation.

“New Jersey American Water is pleased to honor another class of talented Water UP! graduates who are ready to take on a career in the water utility industry,” Mark McDonough, president, New Jersey American Water, said. “Investing in our current and future employees is a central part of how we continue to grow and innovate. We thank Rowan College of South Jersey and the Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority for their partnership in this year’s cohort, and we are grateful for the (New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection) support, which provided grant funding to make this year’s program possible.”

“My DEP colleagues and I congratulate the nine graduates of the Water UP! program who have made the commendable decision to work toward the betterment of their communities,” New Jersey Environmental Commissioner Shawn LaTourette said. “In New Jersey, we are working hard every day to improve the quality of life and health of our urban areas and overburdened communities. The Water UP! program builds upon our efforts by providing opportunities to train and place people in green jobs that grow our economy and make a real difference. The DEP is proud to be part of this effort, providing funding through our Building Our Resilient, Inclusive and Diverse Green Economy initiative.”

The 2023 Water UP! graduating class features nine adults: four from Camden, and one each from Bellmawr, Evesham Township, Gloucester City, Salem City and Winslow Township. The participants were selected by New Jersey American Water and Rowan College of South Jersey through an application and interview process. The training was held at Rowan College of South Jersey in Sewell and New Jersey American Water’s new Lawnside Operations Center. Participants received both hands-on field training and classroom-based lessons, such as utility mechanic, field operations, water production, water quality, OSHA 30, customer service, software and procedures, résumé writing, job interview skills and more. They also toured New Jersey American Water’s Delaware River Water Treatment Plant in Delran and Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority’s Wastewater Treatment Facility in Camden.

Water UP! connects young adults from traditionally underserved communities in New Jersey American Water’s service areas with transformative career opportunities in the water and wastewater industry. Through a combination of hands-on training and classroom-based learning, participants are uniquely prepared for entry level opportunities within New Jersey American Water, American Water, and its utility industry partners. Participants are also receiving six college technical elective credits from Rowan College of South Jersey upon completion of the program.