Verrelli, McKnight, & Egan Measure to Create Adult Apprenticeship Programs for Water Infrastructure Clears Assembly Panel

(TRENTON) – Creating adult apprenticeship programs for the water infrastructure sector, Assembly Democrats Anthony Verrelli (D-Hunterdon, Mercer), Angela McKnight (D-Hudson), and Joseph Egan (D-Middlesex, Somerset) sponsor legislation approved by the Assembly Appropriations Committee to establish the five-year Water Apprenticeship, Training, and Employment Resource (WATER) Pilot Program in the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOLWD).

The water infrastructure and utility sectors are rapidly changing.  Many employees in the industry are aging and expected to retire in the next decade resulting in a short supply of workers for public and private water utilities, leaving a huge gap to fill.  The legislation (A-5016) would expand opportunities for people by creating programs based on water infrastructure and utilities.

Under the WATER program, residents can enter apprenticeship and training programs offering “real world” working experiences. The pilot program would provide prospective workers an opportunity to be successful in a new sector of work and fill jobs in the industry.

After committee approval, Assembly members Verrelli, McKnight, and Egan issued the following joint statement:

“There is a necessity to fill water utility jobs due to the many aging and retiring workers currently in the industry.  This pilot program will generate a new wave of employees to keep these water jobs filled and also generate many new careers for the people of New Jersey.

“Water Utility is a sector where New Jersey can create infrastructure and economic opportunity.  There are aging pipes and much to be done regarding water issues. The apprenticeships and training programs will  help people find employment that pays well and provides career stability in the industry.