Since its implementation in June 2021, The Clean Energy Jobs program, a public-private workforce development initiative sponsored by PSE&G, has placed more than 2,200 New Jersey residents in jobs and trained more than 100 minority-owned small business owners to support the state’s fast-growing energy efficiency sector.
The Clean Energy Jobs program has supported the hiring of New Jersey residents to entry, mid and senior level positions, helping to advance their professional skills and career paths to work in New Jersey’s clean energy industry. The program, a collaboration between PSE&G, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development and more than 40 partnerships with public, private and community organizations, has met its goal of generating economic opportunities with a focus on unemployed, underemployed or low/middle-income New Jersey residents. The effort is designed to help New Jersey achieve the goals of the 2020 Energy Master Plan, which called for workforce training that advances sustainability and equity and spurs economic growth.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said, “The partnership with the PSE&G Clean Energy Jobs Program strikes deep into the heart of both economic and environmental justice.” He continued, “It not only showcases the talent and the skill of New Jersey but proves that these talents and skills are found in a workforce that looks like New Jersey.”
The program also reflects New Jersey’s diversity and is setting a standard for workforce development that is helping to meet the growing need for skilled and diverse workers in the energy efficiency industry. By 2030, experts estimate that New Jersey will need 41,500 new energy efficiency workers to meet the state's ambitious clean energy goals.
“The program set aggressive diversity hiring targets aimed to ensure the demographic makeup of hires in clean energy are more representative of New Jersey’s population,” said Waltasia Mansano, PSE&G manager of the Clean Energy Jobs program. “We are pleased with efforts to date, and PSE&G remains committed to assuring this transition to a clean energy economy is equitable and benefits all the residents of New Jersey.”
Another key element of the Clean Energy Jobs program is the sponsored On-the-Job Training (OJT) Initiative. The first two training cohorts resulted in 24 graduates from the program being placed in a position to secure full-time clean energy jobs with businesses throughout New Jersey. The program launched its third OJT training cohort in April 2023, with 19 candidates currently participating in a 16-week training program to prepare them for opportunities in the energy efficiency industry, and launched its fourth training cohort in late May with 24 candidates.
Arielle Colasanto, a graduate of the On-the-Job Training program, now works as a program coordinator for CLEAResult, an energy efficiency supplier based in Denville, NJ. “I like that the On-the-Job-Training Program focused on diversity,” said Colasanto “As a woman, I think it’s important that (women customers) see that women are doing these jobs. My daughter is so proud that I’m in this business.”
Strong partnerships with community, social and faith-based organizations have also contributed to the program’s success and aided in placing people in clean energy jobs via energy efficiency suppliers. More than 40 community partners collaborate with PSE&G by providing recruitment referrals and raising awareness for the program to their respective constituents through various outreach channels. In addition to a commitment to job placement, building strong community partnerships and strengthening New Jersey’s economy, the Clean Energy Jobs Program also focuses on bolstering opportunities for diverse small businesses. The program helps these businesses in competing for contracts with companies throughout the state by facilitating Minority, Woman, or Veteran-owned Business Enterprise (MWVBE) certifications.
Mansano also shared, “Meeting our goal is fantastic, but our work is not done. Our partnerships with state and community organizations will allow us to continue the work of closing the skills gap, filling much-needed roles in the clean energy space and ensuring these jobs and training programs continue to be accessible to underrepresented communities.”
In line with that direction, PSE&G partnered with the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (SHCCNJ) and the African American Chamber of Commerce (AACCNJ) to hold master classes and provide one-on-one coaching to diverse small businesses in New Jersey, with the goal of helping them become MWVBE-certified while gaining an understanding of the PSE&G procurement process. Most recently, more than 50 organizations successfully completed the master class for the third cohort.
“The Clean Energy Jobs program has an innovative approach to help close the skills gap and was designed from the beginning to build a clean energy ecosystem that would serve not just PSE&G, but the entire state,” said Karen Reif, vice president of Renewables and Energy Solutions, PSE&G. “We are proud of the progress that has been made to date to create economic opportunities for New Jersey residents.”
PSE&G has earned national recognition for the program since its inception. Last year, PSE&G received a national Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative Award for successfully meeting the growing need for skilled workers in New Jersey’s energy efficiency industry via the Clean Energy Jobs Program. More recently, PSE&G received the 2023 Outstanding Achievement in Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Leadership Award for the program from the Association of Energy Services Professionals.
The Clean Energy Jobs program is a part of PSE&G’s Clean Energy Future Energy Efficiency (CEF-EE) initiative, which is the largest commitment to energy efficiency in New Jersey, and includes programs designed to help residential and commercial customers reduce their carbon footprint and save on energy costs while creating economic opportunities and boosting the state’s economy.
For more information on the program, visit pseg.com/CleanEnergyJobs.