The Water Career Pathways (WCP) Consortium was created to address the skilled worker shortages facing the Bay Area Region’s water industry. The WCP seeks to fill the needs identified by the research performed by the California Community College Centers of Excellence and the industry trade association Baywork, in collaboration with the Bay Area Community College Consortium.
The program was developed based on the report performed by the California Community College Center of Excellence and the work of the water industry represented by BAYWORK in collaboration with Bay Area Community College Consortium to identify of the needs for mission critical careers within the industry. One of the key findings was the fact that over 50% of its workforce was eligible for retirement and the workforce to replace them was not ready, which was the perfect formula to create this program.
WCP embraced the mission critical careers with the support and collaboration of several water districts, community colleges, universities high schools, workforce investment boards, and nonprofit organizations.
The consortium will focus its efforts in developing and implementing standardization of core competencies based on qualifications and certifications required by industry. This process will allow our educational partners teach students to be better prepared to work in the water industry.
Our Consortium is under the leadership of the West Valley College, as fiscal sponsor and lead program agency.
In California, the water industry workforce is rapidly aging, with nearly 60 percent of the workers eligible to retire in the next five years. This industry requires their workforce to have state certifications to perform their duties. Training the new generation of skilled and trained workers to operate water facilities is of the essence to facilitate and maintain a reliable water supply to California’s households, industries and farms.
A recent community college survey of the Bay Region’s water industry showed that over 50% of this industry sector reported difficulties in hiring qualified operators and technicians. More than 70% of the of the Bay Area Region water industry employers were interested in certificate programs to develop their workforce. The need to develop programs based on current workforce training gaps is reflected in the 64% of the industry partners willing to collaborate with the colleges. This program is the perfect vehicle to develop a well-defined career pathway for K-12 in all areas of the water industry that includes stackable certificate programs with a very strong internship program.
Our consortium will be under the leadership of the West Valley College, as fiscal sponsor and lead program agency. The consortium members are from three different counties in the Bay Area Region and includes community colleges, high schools, green academies, Workforce Investment Boards, universities, non-profits, water districts, private water companies, and trade associations to cultivate a successful program. The program will address career pathways in the water and wastewater industry to assist students to identify education with job opportunities to earn a good living while serving our community and protecting the environment.
The Water Career Pathways (WCP) mission is to provide a mechanism for effective communication between the water industry and the Consortium to support the advancement of career pathways.
The program was developed based on the report performed by the California Community College Center of Excellence and the work of the water industry represented by BAYWORK in collaboration with Bay Area Community College Consortium to identify of the needs for mission critical careers within the industry.