New England offers unique public utility management program

The South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority(RWA), along with Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU)  and Gateway Community College recently announced their collaboration.

New Haven, Conn. (Dec. 22, 2015) – Larry Bingaman, president and CEO of the South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority (RWA), along with Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) President Dr. Mary Papazian and Gateway Community College President Dorsey Kendrick, recently announced that their collaboration to meet New England utility workforce needs has resulted in unique public utility management degree and certification programs.

With advisement by the RWA, SCSU and Gateway have created an educational pathway to train students to fill projected utility managerial and technical job openings. Beginning next fall, SCSU will offer a specialization in public utility management within its Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree program, and Gateway will provide a certificate and an Associate’s degree in public utility management.

“These programs, thought to be the first in the nation, were developed in direct response to the region’s public utility workforce needs,” Bingaman said. “While New England’s public utility challenges include an aging workforce, looming retirements, aging infrastructure, reduced water usage due to conservation measures and additional regulations, we know these challenges are not unique to our region. These degree programs will be beneficial in training highly qualified individuals to fill anticipated openings nationwide.”

In Connecticut, the regional utility companies are anticipating that, within five years, nearly one-third or more of their workforce will be eligible to retire, and nearly two-thirds of utility management executives are approaching eligibility within the same timeframe.

“It has been a privilege to partner with these two esteemed higher-education institutions,” Bingaman said. “Their unwavering commitment to meeting the region’s workforce needs is evident. We look forward to employing future program graduates.”

The specialization offered by SCSU will include 30 credits that focus on management of public utilities such as water, gas, electric and wastewater. New courses in crisis and risk management, green energy and environmental sustainability, workforce safety and industry regulatory codes will also be offered.

For more information about the program, contact Richard Bassett, chairman of the SCSU Management and Management Information Systems Department, at bassettr3@southernct.edu, or Richard Rees, chairman of the Gateway Business Department, at rrees@gatewayct.edu.

About the South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority (RWA):
The RWA provides customers with high-quality water and services at a reasonable cost while promoting the preservation of watershed land and aquifers. On average, the RWA supplies 45 million gallons of water per day to 430,000 people in a twenty-town region centered in New Haven, Conn. The water utility maintains 1,700 miles of distribution mains and more than 118,000 service connections across 260 contiguous square miles in its district. Committed to the community and educating about the value of natural resources, the RWA connects with over 10,000 students annually through its educational programs.

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