PSE&G employee Tim Gonzales became interested in military service at a young age. He comes from a military family, and in high school was inspired by one of his Navy Junior ROTC instructors, a former fighter pilot who commanded the USS Ranger aircraft carrier.
“He was very influential in molding our values,” Gonzales said, “and a big part of that was service to our country.”
Gonzales joined the U. S. Marine Corps after graduation, serving from 1982 to 1990 in several different capacities – from heavy equipment operator to electrical equipment repair technician to drill instructor.
“Probably the most rewarding experience was my time spent training Marine recruits,” he said.
The role of drill instructor is considered one of the most important – and hallowed – positions in the Marine Corps. To be selected, a person must pass a battery of psychological and physical evaluations and graduate from Drill Instructor School. The rigorous preparation speaks to the awesome responsibility instructors bear – molding raw recruits into Marines.
The Marines prepared Gonzales well for the future. Today, he is a project training and development specialist at the PSE&G Edison Training and Development Center. He educates PSE&G’s gas service apprentices in gas utility work, as well as HVAC and appliance repair in a 30- to 36-month program.
“We have young apprentices come into the program, many of whom are like a blank slate, and we have the privilege to pour into their lives the years of knowledge and experience that we have,” Gonzales said. “To see them grasp a concept is a fantastic feeling. These apprentices, with their new knowledge and skill set will be able to help themselves and their families for a lifetime. That is significant.”
A 17-year veteran of PSE&G, Gonzales notes similarities between the Marines and the utility – both serve the public good and are dedicated to keeping people secure.
Dedication to veterans’ issues
Outside work, Tim spends time with his family – including wife, Nancy, five grown children and three grandchildren. But assisting veterans also is a priority. He has served as a chaplain at a men’s shelter and counselor at a drug rehabilitation facility, both of which minister to some veterans. He also is a co-editor and co-leader of the PSEG Veterans Employee Business Resource Group. “It has been a tremendous experience for me, as I have been able to interact with veterans and veteran organizations all over New Jersey,” he said.
Gonzales praises the EBRG’s wide-ranging initiatives, such as helping veterans with job training, rehabilitation and basic needs; working with homeless veterans; cleaning flower beds at a veterans’ memorial park; and spending time with veterans at a nursing home. He notes, with pride, that PSE&G veterans also are volunteering to build a home with Habitat for Humanity.
“While at banquets and events, I often hear all of the thank yous from grateful people,” he said. “The bottom line is, I feel every employee of PSEG should be proud of how our company helps our American veterans.”
PSEG’s deep connection to veterans is intertwined with the fabric of our company and its rich history. PSEG is proud to be named as a Top Military Friendly Employer for seven consecutive years by ROI-NJ. We also are the proud recipient of the Military Friendly Employer award, the 7 Seals award, the New Jersey “We Value Our Veterans” Governor’s Award, and recently joined the Victory Media Military Spouse Friendly Employer ranks.