Introduction of the Workforce Development Program:
Water Environment Federation (WEF) projected that in the next 10 years, 37 percent of the water utility workers and 31 percent of wastewater utility workers will retire. As a result, EPA, states and industry organizations are working to promote the water sector and ensure that there is a pool of qualified water professionals to meet current and future needs.
WEAT-SE Water Workforce Development Program is driving the greater regional collaboration among multi-stakeholders, such as high schools, community colleges, public and private water sectors, to promote water career awareness and to support people entering the water utility workforce at multiple stages. The short-term goal is focusing on the implementation of High School Curriculum programs, Paid Operator Internship Program and Veterans Water Warriors Initiative. The long-term goal is forming a “pipeline” that feeds the water workforce from entry-level through more skilled positions.