Visit CapCertConnections Discussion Forum

The ASDWA CapCertConnections Discussion Forum is up and running!

If you are a state capacity development or operator certification coordinator, or if your are an EPA Regional coordinator for these programs, you have been invited to participate in this new communications tool to discuss issues of interest to states in their work with small drinking water systems.

In fact, the discussion topic described below was posted earlier this morning…please provide whatever input you may have available.  If you cannot remember how to access the discussion forum (and your are a state or EPA staffer with responsibilities in either of these programs) just contact Anthony DeRosa for assistance.


Workforce / Operator Certification Workgroup – Sharing Internship and Mentoring Program Information

A well-trained and knowledgeable workforce is essential to protecting public health by ensuring safe drinking water and wastewater management.  Predicted losses to the water and wastewater workforce caused by baby boomer retirements raises concern over this essential workforce’s continued viability.  In a 2005 report titled, Succession Planning for a Vital Workforce in the Information Age, the American Water Works Association (AWWA) and the Awwa Research Foundation projected that 37% of water utility workers and 32% of wastewater utility workers will be eligible to retire in the next 10 years.   In addition, DOL estimates that the need for water and wastewater operators will increase by 20% from 2008-2018.

The Workforce/Operator Certification Workgroup (consisting of states, EPA and TA providers) was formed in part to address the challenge of maintaining a robust and knowledgeable workforce.   As part of this effort, the Workgroup is promoting sharing information about internship and mentoring programs by developing fact sheets (ModelMaine) about different types of programs and sharing them across the country.  As a first step, the group would like your help to identify the programs in your states.  

1) Quick description about the program (3-4 sentences including: title, location, and additional details as available)

2) Program contact information (for follow-up questions as necessary)

Please Post Your Reply on the ASDWA CapCert Connections Forum

 Additional Information and Definitions

This is our initial effort to gather information about these programs, so we do not want to limit the scope too much. If you feel that there is a program that we should know about, please don’t hesitate to include it.

Internship Program:  a program that build skills towards gaining an operator license and includes hours of work experience for licensure.

Mentoring Program: a formal program that measurably enhances the skills of the existing workforce.

Internship and Mentoring programs take a variety of approaches:

  • They may be state-led, or they may be industry-led (e.g., State or  AWWA)
  • Some programs focus on bringing new people into the program to become operators.  (This may be a type of operator-in-training program)
  • Some programs may be intensive training/mentoring for experienced operators
  • Some programs are apprenticeships with the Department of Labor.
  • Programs may be funded by the state  or industry or other entity (e.g., Department of Labor)








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