Water UP!: N.J. American Water celebrates 4th class of training program

Ten adults from the greater South Jersey area were honored Monday during a graduation ceremony at the fourth annual Water Utility Pipeline training program, a paid, 10-week workforce development program for adults in partnership with Rowan College of South Jersey.

Called Water UP!, the program helped 10 adults from Atlantic City, Egg Harbor City, Hammonton, Pleasantville and Somers Point receive hands-on water utility industry and essential classroom-based business training at New Jersey American Water’s Egg Harbor City Water Treatment Facility.

New Jersey American Water President Mark McDonough was thrilled.

“New Jersey American Water is proud to honor the latest class of skilled graduates from our Water UP! Program, who are now prepared to pursue careers in the water utility field,” he said. “Investing in comprehensive training initiatives is not just a business strategy for us; it’s a fundamental component of our mission to provide opportunities for people in the communities we serve while helping to create future water utility workers.

“This training program gives young people a unique chance to develop critical skills needed to succeed in the utility workforce after graduation.”

New Jersey American Water, a subsidiary of Camden-based American Water, is the largest regulated water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 2.9 million people.

Linda Ofori, assistant director for water systems and operations for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and a member of the agency’s Water and Wastewater Licensing board of examiners, saluted the graduates.

“DEP commends New Jersey American Water for this wonderful training program and congratulates the 10 new Water UP! graduates on their achievement,” she said. “The Water UP! program benefits communities by providing an important pipeline to a career in the water utility field.

“When Water UP! graduates enter into green jobs that protect the environment, the returns are countless.”

The 2024 Water UP! class members were selected by NJAW and Rowan College of South Jersey through an application and interview process.

Participants received both classroom-based lessons and hands-on field training, such as utility mechanic, field operations, water production, water quality, customer service, business and operations software, résumé writing, job interview skills and more. They also toured New Jersey American Water’s Delaware River Water Treatment Plant in Delran and the Atlantic County Utilities Authority wastewater treatment plant and environmental park to learn about wastewater treatment and renewable energy, respectively.

The class also earned their OSHA 30 certification and six college technical elective credits from Rowan College of South Jersey through completion of the program.