New Jersey high school seniors are encouraged to apply for the new PSEG Scholars program, which provides scholarship money and mentoring for students with a passion for engineering and an interest in pursuing a career in the energy industry.

The PSEG Foundation will give six high school seniors $24,000 for their college studies, distributed evenly over four years. In addition to annual stipends, PSEG will match each scholar with a company employee who can provide guidance and perspective. PSEG Scholars will be invited to tour the company's facilities and join employees as they volunteer at community events. They will also be invited to apply for a summer internship following completion of their sophomore year.

"What makes this program unique is that we're offering more than money," said Sheila Rostiac, director of corporate social responsibility and president of the PSEG Foundation. "We're giving students the opportunity to experience what its like to work in the energy field."

PSEG Scholar applicants should intend to major in chemical engineering, civil engineering, electrical engineering, environmental engineering, mechanical engineering or nuclear engineering. They must have attended high school in New Jersey for at least 3 years and be able to demonstrate an aptitude in math and science in addition to financial need. Applications are due Friday, May 11.

"It's critical that we engage young people, that we get them interested in science, technology, engineering and math and show them the kind of careers available to those who've earned a degree in these areas," Rostiac said. "There is a real need for this kind of talent and lots of opportunity for good jobs right here in New Jersey."

PSE&G is investing $3.5 billion over the next three years in transmission projects that will ensure reliable electric service. Those projects will require scores of engineers.