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Wells of Opportunity: Training Residents and Prioritizing Local Hiring for Water Infrastructure Projects in Newark

In the face of generational demands for water infrastructure investment, along with relatively high levels of unemployment, the City of Newark has instituted training programs to help bolster its water workforce. This report, produced by the Jersey Water Works CSO Committee, features two sections:

1) Newark’s Lead Service Line Apprenticeship Program: This describes the special apprenticeship program that was created to supply qualified residents for Newark’s fast-moving lead service line replacement program.

2) Newark’s Green Infrastructure Training Programs: This describes two programs, Ironbound Community Corporation Green Infrastructure Training Program and Newark Green Works, which were created partly in anticipation of the city’s combined sewer overflow (CSO) Long Term Control Plan (LTCP). The LTCP is expected to feature green infrastructure projects and will begin implementation in 2021.These programs can serve as models for other cities throughout New Jersey, and even the nation, that also seek to benefit from both training and prioritizing their local workforce to tackle water infrastructure challenges.

 

Wells of Opportunity: Training Residents and Prioritizing Local Hiring for Water Infrastructure Projects in Newark

New Jersey Green Streets Case Studies

As of 2019, 151 municipalities in New Jersey have adopted complete streets policies, but most have not incorporated green streets language or requirements into their policies. Municipalities can enhance their roadways by incorporating green streets practices into their complete streets designs. Green streets can help meet regulatory requirements for stormwater management, provide important environmental and public health benefits, and provide social and economic benefits. These case studies show how 3 New Jersey communities—Hoboken, Highland Park, and Camden—planned and implemented green streets to achieve some of the benefits described.

New Jersey Green Streets Case Studies

Green Infrastructure Recommendations for Consideration within the Green Acres Reauthorization

In July 2020, the Jersey Water Works Green Infrastructure Committee sent recommendations for consideration by the Department of Environmental Protection to the re-authorization of the Green Acres rules. The Green Infrastructure subcommittee focused its efforts to understand the limitations of the current rule towards green infrastructure, and propose revisions that integrate green infrastructure into the Green Acres grant application process while being consistent with the intent of the program and collect information on existing green infrastructure projects in parks. The document outlines suggested revisions to the Green Acres re-authorization to include and encourage, when appropriate, the evaluation and prioritization of green infrastructure and green stormwater infrastructure practices for conservation purposes regarding watershed protection.

 

Green Infrastructure Recommendations for Consideration within the Green Acres Reauthorization

Bolstering the Water Workforce with Innovative Programs

In the City of Camden, two programs were created to train residents of low-income communities and communities of color in green infrastructure maintenance and/or connect them to employment opportunities, including those in the water industry. One is PowerCorps Camden, administered by Center for Family Services and Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority, among others, and the other is Camden Works, administered by Center for Family Services and Cooper’s Ferry Partnership, among others. This case study details how these workforce training programs are structured, providing an overview that communities can refer to if they wish to create their own program. It also features insight on factors for success and lessons learned as these programs have navigated their first few years of operation.

Bolstering the Water Workforce with Innovative Programs

Assessing Public Input and Consideration of Green Infrastructure in NJ CSO Reports

This paper, Assessing Public Input and Consideration of Green Infrastructure in NJ CSO Reports, assesses how well the Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Development and Evaluation of Alternatives Reports meet the Jersey Water Works (JWW) goals for “Smart CSO Plans.”

The Development and Evaluation of Alternative Reports (DEARs) were submitted to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) in July 2019, with a deadline for the final LTCPs of October 2020. The committee reviewed 24 reports submitted on behalf of 25 permit holders; some reports were consolidated based on regional reports. Nine regional collaborations of sewage treatment plants and municipal permit holders worked together on the development and evaluation of alternatives. Of the 25 permit holders, the City of Trenton was the single permit holder not included in this review because the City has already submitted its LTCP.

This paper summarizes the committee’s findings, with focus on the types of alternatives evaluated, green infrastructure considerations, and extent of public participation.

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