Jersey Central Power & Light is partnering with Brookdale Community College and Raritan Valley Community College to reinstate its award-winning program to train the next generation of utility line and substation workers.
The Power Systems Institute is a two-year program that combines hands-on utility skills at JCP&L training facilities with technical course work at the two colleges. Participating graduates will earn an Associate of Applied Science degree with a focus on electric utility technology.
Making the announcement today at an event at JCP&L's Farmingdale training facility were: Kim Guadagno, lieutenant governor of New Jersey; Jim Fakult, president of JCP&L; Dr. Maureen Murphy, president of Brookdale Community College; and Dr. Michael J. McDonough, president of RVCC.
"JCP&L's willingness to embrace new and innovative ways to train its future employees through the Power Systems Institute is a model for New Jersey businesses," said Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno. "By ensuring the next generation of utility workers has the skills and education they need to succeed, we are putting New Jersey at the forefront of workforce alignment. Congratulations to JCP&L, Brookdale Community College and Raritan Valley Community College on this important program."
"JCP&L's partnerships with Brookdale and Raritan Valley Community College support workforce alignment and we are pleased Lieutenant Governor Guadagno joined us today," said Jim Fakult, president of JCP&L. "The Power Systems Institute has already provided JCP&L with more than 160 highly skilled employees who are working in the field today, using the training they received from this unique program to deliver our customers the quality service they expect and deserve. We are proud to renew this innovative opportunity to meet our future workforce needs."
"This program teaches in-demand job skills, leads to a college degree and creates an opportunity for employment immediately after graduation," said Brookdale president, Dr. Maureen Murphy. "It fits perfectly with Brookdale's mission and we are thrilled to once again offer this unique opportunity."
"Raritan Valley Community College is excited to renew its partnership with Jersey Central Power & Light in the electric utility technology training program," said RVCC president, Dr. Michael J. McDonough. "This unique and strategic collaboration allows RVCC to champion economic development and to prepare students for challenging jobs."
FirstEnergy originally introduced PSI in 2000 as a way to replace retiring line workers. Programs were established at RVCC in 2003 and at Brookdale Community College in 2007. With the economic downturn, in 2011 most of the PSI programs were placed on hold because projected hiring needs did not support bringing in new students. As future workforce needs were re-evaluated, the decision was made to reinstate the PSI program targeting a fall of 2015 enrollment class.
Program openings are limited, and applications will be assessed through a competitive, multi-step process. Orientation programs for prospective students will take place on Wednesday, January 28, 2015, from 6-8 p.m. at Brookdale Community College, 765 Newman Springs Road, Lincroft, N.J. and on Tuesday, February 3, 2015, from 6-8 p.m. at RVCC, 118 Lamington Road, Branchburg, N.J. More information is available at www.firstenergycorp.com/psi or by calling 800-829-6801.