Help Wanted: Retirements and the Energy Transition Lead to Job Openings in the Power Industry
It seems like industry insiders have been lamenting the aging power workforce for decades. Yet, there is still a large percentage of workers in the current workforce that are retirement eligible—some studies suggest the percentage is as high as 40%. Meanwhile, the energy transition has created a large number of new jobs building and operating solar and wind farms, enhancing infrastructure, and developing and deploying energy efficiency programs. What that means is there are a lot of open positions to be filled throughout the power industry.
PSEG Is Hiring
“Right now, we have active close to 500 postings for positions,” Sheila Rostiac, senior vice president for Human Resources, Chief Human Resources Officer, and Chief Diversity Officer with Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. (PSEG), said as a guest on The POWER Podcast. “Those jobs run the continuum of opportunities at our company from skilled craftworkers, laborers, customer service representatives, engineers, project managers, and certainly IT [information technology] and cyber experts,” she said.
PSEG is a diversified energy company headquartered in Newark, New Jersey. Established in 1903, the company’s principal operating subsidiaries are: Public Service Electric and Gas Co. (PSE&G), PSEG Power, and PSEG Long Island. PSE&G is New Jersey’s largest provider of electric and natural gas service—serving 2.3 million electric customers and 1.9 million gas customers. PSEG Power is an energy supply company that integrates the operations of its nuclear generating assets with its fuel supply functions. PSEG Long Island operates the electric transmission and distribution system of the Long Island Power Authority, which includes about 1.1 million customers. PSEG has approximately 12,500 employees.
The jobs PSEG has available are open for a number of reasons. “I had a turnover rate on retirements of about 3% last year, and so backfilling those skilled workers is part of our opening and our routine operation,” said Rostiac. “At the same time, on the growth standpoint, you know the industry is going through an incredible transformation, and we—PSEG—are doing significant capital work across the state, upgrading our gas systems, upgrading and fostering resilience in our electric systems, and managing opportunities with our nuclear business. So, some of those jobs are providing new opportunities in growth of our business,” she said.
‘A Great Place to Work’
Rostiac suggested interest in job openings has been good. “Our brand is well-known and our reputation as a great place to work really does afford us strong interest,” she said. However, there’s stiff competition for well-qualified candidates. “We are competing with hosts of other companies, both in the state and really across the nation, for some of those top skills that everybody is looking for—particularly in the technology areas of IT and cyber,” she said.
PSEG has won a few awards to back up Rostiac’s claim that the company provides a great working environment. Earlier this year, PSEG was named one of America’s “Most JUST Companies,” an annual analysis from nonprofit JUST Capital, ranking companies on issues that supposedly matter most to Americans when it comes to corporate leadership. Among the items JUST tracks are whether companies provide fair pay and equal treatment for all workers, create good jobs and understand the value of strong communities, and their commitment to maintaining a healthy planet.
The rankings were released by JUST and its media partner CNBC on Jan. 10. PSEG ranked fourth overall out of 39 national utilities evaluated in the survey, PSEG ranked as the second-highest utility in employee work-life balance, and among all industries evaluated by JUST, PSEG ranked in the top 100 for workforce advancement.
Valuing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
PSEG has also won prestigious awards from some well-known publications. For example, in April 2022, Forbes named the company one of “America’s Best Employers for Diversity,” and in February 2023, Forbes included PSEG on its list of “America’s Best Large Employers.” Meanwhile, Bloomberg included PSEG in its 2022 Gender-Equality Index, a reference index that measures gender equality across five pillars: female leadership and talent pipeline, equal pay and gender pay parity, inclusive culture, anti-sexual harassment policies, and pro-women brand.
“It’s an honor to be included in the 2022 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index because it reflects our efforts to advance equity across our workforce,” Ralph Izzo, PSEG chairman, president, and CEO at the time, said in a statement announcing the company’s selection. “Women occupy key leadership roles throughout PSEG, and I’m proud to say we’re committed to continuing to recruit, hire, promote and retain the women who are critical to maintaining this company’s best-in-class performance. Diversity, equity and inclusion [DEI] are key to who we are, and are among our company’s Core Commitments. Increasing opportunities for women to join PSEG and to thrive here, and to increase representation in the workforce, are fundamental goals of our DEI objectives,” he added.
“It is an incredibly exciting time to come to work in the energy industry,” said Rostiac. “The range of career opportunities with life-changing wages and the ability to grow and be part of an industry that is essential, empowering the lives of the communities and businesses around, it’s certainly a high-calling purpose and I hope that future generations see themselves as wanting to be a part of that.”
To hear the full interview with Rostiac, which includes more discussion on diversity and inclusion, among other things, listen to The POWER Podcast. Click on the SoundCloud player below to listen in your browser now or use the following links to reach the show page on your favorite podcast platform:
For more power podcasts, visit The POWER Podcast archives.
—Aaron Larson is POWER’s executive editor (@AaronL_Power, @POWERmagazine).
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