Eighteen months ago, Richard Schultz was working on a farm, earning minimum wage. He dreamed of someday saving enough money to buy his own home, but knew that it was going to be challenging without a significant career change. When he saw an ad for the PSE&G-sponsored Clean Energy Jobs Program that mentioned on-the-job training (OJT) and support, Richard was quick to submit an application and was soon after accepted.
Since its inception in June of 2021, the Clean Energy Jobs Program, a public-private workforce development initiative sponsored by PSE&G, has placed more than 2,300 New Jersey residents in jobs and trained more than 100 minority-owned small business owners to support the state’s energy efficiency sector.
As a participant in the OJT program, Richard joined fellow trainees in a six-month course. In order to prepare for work in the fast-growing clean energy industry, the group learned how to lower homeowner expenses by implementing energy-saving measures. Richard was trained to conduct home energy assessments and inspections, as well as how to weatherize homes and install more efficient HVAC systems and appliances.
After graduating, he was hired as a field technician by CMC Energy Services – a certified Women’s Business Enterprise offering comprehensive program management services for the energy efficiency industry. Close to 18 months later, Richard has grown with CMC and has since been promoted to the role of field technician III. Overall, Richard appreciates the OJT experience.
“I was able to come into CMC in a really good spot, and the transition was pretty easy, without any issues at all,” he said.
One particularly valuable skill Richard has picked up is the ability to identify – and then inspect – different home structures, from the Cape Cod to the Colonial style.
“It comes in handy, especially as I look at houses that I may want to purchase someday,” he said.
Richard told us, the best thing about his job is getting to discover new areas of New Jersey noting, “there are some really beautiful parts of New Jersey, especially up north.”
Since starting with CMC, Richard has also gained other useful skills and tools, including OSHA training and a certification from the Building Performance Institute (BPI), an organization that aims to bring professional quality management standards to the home energy rating industry.
The move to energy efficiency is paying big dividends to Richard. He’s made good friends and connections at CMC, and his work is very close to home.
“I loved working on a farm, but this career allows for a lot more growth. The energy sector gives me a lot more options,” he said.
From its inaugural class in November 2021 through today, the Clean Energy Jobs Program has completed four OJT cohorts, with a total of 59 graduates. The next OJT class will be offered in January 2024.
If you are interested in learning more about the On-the-Job Training Program, click here.