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.
Consider Water! Your Future Can Be Clear! Let us show you the way:
· Maintenance Technician
· Waste Water Treatment Operator
· Water Distribution Operator
· Water Treatment Operator
As well as many other career paths within the industry.