Smart meter installation creates local jobs

As Memphis Light Gas & Water gears up to begin installing over one million residential “smart” meters next month, they are working with Elster and its partner Apex CoVantgae to hire local supply crews and individual installers.

Elster and Apex will also be operating offices and a warehouse distribution center from Memphis for the next five years as the $240 million project is underway.

“There is $22 million worth of opportunities. It’s undetermined with whom those dollars will be spent,” said MLGW Contracts and Procurements Manager Jozelle Booker.

MLGW does know that a percentage of those dollars will be funneled to minority and women-owned businesses.

“We are very committed to MLGW’s supplier diversity project,” said Elster’s Regional Director john Carter at  a gathering of potential vendors in December of last year. “Everything is still being decided for subcontractors and vendors. There are still opportunities and flexibility for business participation.”

Apex officials estimate they will need between 50 and 60 installers of field technicians for the project, and the contract with MLGW requires that 75 percent of those positions be filled with Shelby County residents. MLGW’s current workforce will complete about 50 percent of the installation work.

Read more articles by Anna Mullins.

Anna is a local writer, editor and non-profit administrator. She serves as Managing Editor for High Ground and as the Director of Communications and Marketing for the New Memphis Institute. Share feedback and story ideas with her here.
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