In recent months, EPA introduced new resources to help water utilities deal with workforce challenges. The agency announced the second program in its webinar series designed to address the challenges of recruiting, training, and motivating a talented and diverse workforce. AMWA joined with EPA, the American Water Works Association, the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, the Water Environment Federation, and the Water Research Foundation to host the series, Creating the Water Workforce of the Future, which was launched in October 2019.
The second webinar is scheduled for February 18 from 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. ET and will feature Project Wet, an innovative program to educate students and others on the value of water and the importance of careers in water. Project Wet works closely with the Boise WaterShed Environmental Education Center and El Paso Water’s TecH2O Learning Center to attract and educate students. Webinar speakers will include Julia Beck, Vice President of Networks for the Project Wet Foundation; April Lopez, Water Conservation Education Specialist at El Paso Water; and Cindy Busche, Environmental Education Manager at Boise WaterShed Environmental Education Center.
In addition, EPA’s Office of Water has made available a collection of water workforce presentations it has collected from various utilities and events. The presentations provide information on utility programs and other relevant workforce issues from the 2018 National Water Sector Workforce Convening and the 2019 Transformative Issues Symposium, among other sources.
AMWA members with presentations in the collection include DC Water, Santa Clara Valley Water District, San Francisco Public Utilities, WaterOne, City of Atlanta Department of Watershed Management, and Philadelphia Water Department. EPA plans to add new material to the collection over time.