New Jersey American Water Hosts Graduation Ceremony for “Water UP!” Training Program

Fourth annual workforce development program offers local residents water utility industry training during 10-week program

CAMDEN, N.J. – June 18, 2024 – New Jersey American Water hosted a graduation ceremony for the fourth annual Water Utility Pipeline (Water UP!) training program, a paid, 10-week workforce development program for adults in partnership with Rowan College of South Jersey. This year’s graduating class of ten adults from Atlantic City, Egg Harbor City, Hammonton, Pleasantville, and Somers Point received 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 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," said Mark McDonough, President of New Jersey American Water. "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.”

“DEP commends New Jersey American Water for this wonderful training program and congratulates the 10 new Water UP! graduates on their achievement,” said 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. “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 New Jersey American Water 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, resume 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.

“Workforce training partnerships like Water UP! benefit students and prospective employers. These programs create meaningful career opportunities for trainees while building a skilled labor force that is prepared to meet market demands,” said Dr. Brenden Rickards, Provost and Vice President of Academic Services at Rowan College of South Jersey. “Rowan College of South Jersey is proud to partner with New Jersey American Water to train the next generation of water utility professionals.”

“I’m happy to congratulate this year’s cohort, and especially proud that New Jersey American Water hosted this program at their newly acquired water treatment facility in our city,” added Egg Harbor City Mayor, Dr. Lisa Jiampetti. “Water UP! is a great example of how workforce development programs can make a real difference in the lives of adults who are looking for new career opportunities, and how companies can give back to the communities they serve.”

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 upon graduation.

First launched in the fall of 2021, the Water UP! program has included cohorts in Camden, Plainfield, and Lawnside, N.J. The 2024 Water UP! program is funded by a grant from the New Jersey Governor’s Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy, and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Building our Resilient, Inclusive, and Diverse Green Economy (BRIDGE) Initiative.

To learn more about Water UP!, visit

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The Water UP! 2024 Graduation Ceremony

Pictured from left to right in back row: Michael Goonan, Assistant Dean, Career & Technical Education, Rowan College of South Jersey; Dr. Lisa Jiampetti, Egg Harbor City Mayor; Heather Simmons, Vice President of Career and Technical Education & Workforce Development, Rowan College of South Jersey; Linda Ofori, Assistant Director for Water Systems and Operations, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection; Water UP graduates Timothy Gregory and Khayree Aikens; and New Jersey American Water President Mark McDonough, Senior Director of Communications and External Affairs Denise Venuti Free, and External Affairs Specialist Doreene Bennett.

Pictured from left to right in front row: Water UP graduates Trevor Boyd, Kenneth Jones, Christopher LeBron, Matthew McGrath, Andrew Senn, Brendan Whitmarsh, and Dilana Whitted.

New Jersey American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest regulated water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and wastewater services to approximately 2.9 million people.

Media Contacts

Denise Venuti Free

Senior Director of Communications & External Affairs