Mayor W. Reed Gusciora and Department of Water and Sewer Director Mark A. Lavenberg announced Wednesday, June 2, 2021, the first graduating class of the Trenton Water Works (TWW) job training program, a joint effort with Mercer County Community College (MCCC) to equip TWW employees with the education necessary to advance their careers and pursue advanced jobs in water treatment and distribution.
The 180-hour MCCC Operator Prerequisite Course is being taught onsite at TWW headquarters on 333 Cortland Street by Andrew Pappachen, a water-industry executive with 46 years of experience in water system operation and management. Pappachen retired as Public Works Director from City of Newark and was consultant at TWW for two years.
In addition to celebrating the graduation, TWW also welcomed 14 students for a new session starting this month. The books and tuition are covered by TWW. Once the second class is finished, TWW will offer an Advanced Water Operations course in March 2022 for employees who want to apply for higher level state licenses in water system operation and treatment.
Today’s graduation event took place at City Hall. Graduates and new students were welcomed by Mayor Gusciora, Director Lavenberg, Trenton Councilman Santiago Rodriguez, MCCC Vice President Dr. Robert J. Schreyer and Dr. Gonzalo Perez, Dean of Academic Affairs at MCCC.
In March 2021, the prerequisite course was announced alongside a related TWW apprenticeship program that is managed by the N.J. Water Association (NJWA) and the N.J. Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) Growing Apprenticeships in Non-Traditional Sectors (GAINS) program. Apprentices are assigned water system licensed mentors who are TWW employees. Apprentices receive 290 hours of training, including 180 for the Operator Prerequisite Course.
“Having a major public utility right here in the Capital City puts us in a unique position to provide quality, high-skill jobs to our residents and the training to help them get there,” said Mayor Gusciora. “We’re excited to celebrate this occasion with our partners at Mercer County Community College and the graduates and incoming students who will take advantage of this program for years to come.”
“TWW always has a need for certified operators, and this program ensures that Trenton residents who already work at the water utility have the opportunities and resources to grow into those roles,” said TWW Director Mark Lavenberg. “We congratulate all our graduates and look forward to offering an even more advanced program early next year.”
Trenton Water Works is among the largest publicly owned, urban water utilities in the United States. It supplies an average of 28 million gallons of Delaware River-sourced drinking water per day to 63,000 metered customers. It services more than 250,000 people in Trenton, parts of Hamilton Township, Ewing Township, Lawrence Township and Hopewell Township in Mercer County, New Jersey. Established more than 200 years ago, TWW operates a 60-million-gallon water-filtration plant and water-distribution system that includes a 100-million-gallon reservoir. TWW’s system has 683 miles of water mains varying in size from four to 48 inches in diameter, three pump stations, and six interconnections between TWW and other water suppliers.