New Jersey American Water and Apex Solutions Group Host Graduation Ceremony for “Water UP!” Training Program

Second annual workforce development program offers Plainfield-based adults water utility industry training throughout 11-week program.

CAMDEN, N.J. – November 29, 2022 – Today, New Jersey American Water hosted a graduation ceremony for its second cohort of Water Utility Pipeline (Water UP!) training program graduates in partnership with Apex Solutions Group. Over 11 weeks of field training and classroom-based curriculum, 13 adults, mostly from Plainfield, learned about the water utility industry, New Jersey American Water’s role, and essential business skills necessary to successfully pursue a career in the industry upon graduation.

“The innovation and service that New Jersey American Water provides tomorrow will be driven by the next generation of diverse water quality workers today,” said Mark McDonough, President, New Jersey American Water. “The Water UP! program presents a unique opportunity to invest in our most important asset, people. We are proud to see the program continue as we expand the ways in which New Jersey American Water recruits and retains talented members of the communities where we do business, and we are thrilled to be able to partner with the City of Plainfield for this cohort, which is home to our largest operations center in the state.”

The training took place at New Jersey American Water’s Plainfield Operations Center and other nearby facilities in the company’s Central Operating Region, and included utility mechanic, field operations, water production, water quality, OSHA 30, customer service, software and procedures, resume writing, job interview skills and other classes provided by Apex Solutions Group and New Jersey American Water. A career fair was also held the last week of the program, in an effort to pair prospective employers with graduates for job opportunities.  

“New Jersey American Water is a great partner in our community, and they are investing in service and success at all levels through their Water UP! program—including empowering the next generation of water utility leaders,” said Plainfield Mayor Adrian O. Mapp, who delivered the graduation address. “This Water UP! graduation is the result of a commitment to growth and innovation for Plainfield, paired with hard work from the participants. I’m excited to see the success of each graduate here today and encouraged by their focus on a stronger tomorrow.”

New Jersey American Water first launched the Water UP! training program in Camden in September 2021 as part of New Jersey American Water’s Workforce Development Program. The program is designed to create a career path to connect young adults from underserved populations in New Jersey American Water’s service areas with a career path by helping participants identify and pursue transformative career opportunities in the water and wastewater industry. Completion of the program uniquely prepares participants for open opportunities within New Jersey American Water, American Water, and its utility industry partners.

The Water UP! program is part of a broader workforce development initiative by New Jersey American Water that includes career education and outreach initiatives, as well as an ongoing GIS career development program between New Jersey American Water’s Engineering team and the Camden-based nonprofit career development organization Hopeworks. These workforce development initiatives provide innovative and collaborative opportunities that connect young adults in underserved communities to water utility careers.

To learn more about Water UP! and New Jersey American Water’s workforce development programs, visit the website, and click on Workforce Development under the About Us tab.

The Water UP! 2022 graduation ceremony. Pictured from left to right in bottom row are: Doreene Bennett of New Jersey American Water, Takeena Deas of Apex Solutions Group, Mark McDonough, President of New Jersey American Water, Earl Hill, Shakira Pernell, Kenrick Forrester, Kenneth Lamberth, Plainfield Mayor Adrian O. Mapp, and Lonell Jenkins, CEO of Apex Solutions Group; and top row are: Michael Schanck, Ronald Brown, Altereek Whitlock, Dahmill Bowles, Elisha Andujar, Crystal Charles, Anthony Wright, and Chris Sanchez. (Not pictured: Christopher M. Sanchez.)

About APEX Solutions Group
APEX Solutions Group is a Minority, Disabled Veteran owned company that leverages the 100 plus years of combined professional experience to exceed the needs of clients while uplifting the communities it operates in. To learn more about APEX Solutions Group, visit

New Jersey American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and wastewater services to approximately 2.8 million people. For more information, visit and follow New Jersey American Water on Twitter and Facebook.

About American Water

With a history dating back to 1886, American Water (NYSE:AWK) is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs more than 6,400 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and regulated-like drinking water and wastewater services to more than 14 million people in 24 states. American Water provides safe, clean, affordable and reliable water services to our customers to help keep their lives flowing. For more information, visit and American Water on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Media Contacts

Denise Venuti Free

Director of Communications and External Affairs