PSEG mentorship program benefits East Orange company

Photo Courtesy of PSEG
From left are Alan Rhode of Tri-State Light & Energy, Gary Smith of Will Dog Property Preservation & Management in East Orange, and PSEG mentor Jacob Schenkman.

EAST ORANGE, NJ — PSEG recently announced the graduates of its first supplier diversity mentorship program. The six-month program supports the New Jersey CEO Council’s pledge to spend an additional $250 million on procurement with state-based, diverse companies by 2025.

As part of that pledge, PSEG committed to increase its business with diverse suppliers to at least 30 percent by 2023. The company met this commitment two years early in 2021.

This year’s graduates are from Bush Electrical Services in Pompton Lakes; J&L Electrical and Communications in Rockaway; Martinez Associates Inc. in Montville; and WillDog Property Preservation & Management in East Orange.

Many diverse suppliers are unfamiliar with the internal processes required to complete successful requests for proposals for large companies and may benefit from guidance and support in strengthening their skills in business areas related to such areas as human capital management, accounting, and business development. The PSEG supplier diversity mentorship program aims to remove barriers and facilitate access to opportunities to bid on projects for PSEG and other large organizations. As graduates, each company is eligible to qualify and receive contracts as a tier 1 or 2 PSEG supplier.

“We are committed to strengthening our communities and ensuring our suppliers better reflect the diversity of our region,” said Kim Hanemann, PSE&G president and chief operating officer. “The PSEG supplier diversity mentorship program is a model for developing the skills of diverse suppliers and preparing them to support not only PSEG but other organizations throughout New Jersey and beyond.”

Each participant in the program received ongoing mentorship from leaders of PSEG and PSEG prime suppliers to advance a range of skills in areas they identified. Based on a mentoring framework developed by the Rutgers Business School, mentors and mentees met bimonthly to discuss goals, challenges and progress. In addition, each participant received on-the-job training by shadowing a prime supplier to help develop their capabilities and build experience.

“The opportunity to participate in the program will help us grow our business,” said Kenneth D. Jenkins of Martinez Associates. “It allowed us to see how engineers on PSEG teams look at aspects of the work and how we should do things. I now look forward to showing a company like PSEG what my company can do.”