Principal NJ location: Newark
NJ employees: approximately 10,000
Chief executive: Ralph Izzo
Who they are: The state’s largest publicly owned utility
What we love: Training, job rotation, and job creation
For several reasons, John Veprek cheerfully leaves his pleasant home in Point Pleasant each workday and commutes 60 miles to his office at PSEG’s Newark headquarters: The company paid for his masters degree, they’ve donated $18,000 to a charity he volunteers for, and he’s going on 37 years of service. But mainly, he loves his job.
Veprek, a product manager, is hardly an exception. Morale is high at PSEG, the Fortune 500 conglomerate that supplies most of the Garden State’s gas and electricity (and is one of the state’s largest employers). The perks are plentiful (tuition reimbursement, on-site fitness center, generous maternity leave, flex hours), but perhaps most alluring is PSEG’s investment in the success of its employees. “It’s not just, ‘Here’s what I want you to do,’” says Angela Ortiz, a second-year employee developing the company’s sustainability efforts. “Supervisors ask, ‘What do you want to learn?’”
Besides PSEG’s extensive mentoring programs, in-depth orientation for new hires, career development workshops, and leadership academies, there’s Talent Week—an annual summit where leaders choose outstanding employees and rotate them into different departments to broaden their knowledge base and thereby prepare them for senior positions. PSEG also doles out cash bonuses and awards to recognize performance above and beyond basic responsibilities. All of these measures develop talent for promotion from within—and an environment of continuous learning and improvement where feedback is encouraged.
“There’s a dialogue,” says Hope Pomerantz, director of employee relations and enterprise outreach. “You’re welcome to speak to company leaders, not just your supervisors, because the doors are open. They’ve let me push their buttons and get them uncomfortable in the name of progress.”
PSEG also offers both pension and 401(k) plans, seriously invests in diversity, acts as a leading corporate citizen on environmental and workforce development issues, and has policies encouraging a healthy work/life balance. “There’s a real respect for, ‘I have a Little League game tonight,’” says Jenn Kramer, communications manager.
Now PSEG is further investing in its renewable energy programs, especially through increasing solar installations, developing a wind farm off the coast of South Jersey, and expanding access to energy efficiency. “There’s an incredible sense of pride in this organization,” claims Kramer. Her undeniable proof? “I even know a fourth-generation employee who has a PSEG tattoo!”
The company expects to create 900 new utility and contractor positions in the next two years through accelerated infrastructure investments, and approximately 700 green jobs through a $237 million investment in energy efficiency for homes and businesses.
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