Workforce Workgroup Completes Efforts

The final meeting of the Workforce/Operator Certification workgroup (part of the larger Reenergizing Capacity Development initiative) took place in late October.  Although the formal workgroup has completed its efforts, work continues on an array of products that should be released in early 2012.  Please read below for more information on continuing initiatives and planned product releases:

Quick Summary of 2011 Work:

Topic #1 – Share regional overviews of OpCert training/ education plans/ programs

The group decided to support ABC’s Best Practices for OpCert programs by reviewing documents and sharing information.  The Best Practices project will include a “guide” on what a strong program needs to address coupled with a database that shows what states are currently doing.  Information from both ABC member states and non-member states is included.

Production:  January 2012:  Roll-out of Draft Best Practices Document at the 2012 ABC Annual Conference

Topic #2 – Share internship programs and mentoring programs

Develop fact sheets highlighting different internship and mentoring program models for water and wastewater operators.  Target audiences are states, utilities, utility organizations, operator organizations, educational institutions, and technical assistance providers.  Most programs can be grouped into three categories:  Department of Labor Programs; workforce investment boards/ agencies; and colleges and community college/high school programs.

Production:  Begin to release fact sheets in early 2012.  Expect about 15- 20 fact sheets

Topic #3 – Address recruitment/retention issues

Promote the operator profession through decision-maker education.  Merging this initiative with ASDWA’s effort to design “decision-maker” training to help small systems understand roles and responsibilities for themselves and their operators and provide tools (checklists and templates) for hiring an operator or contracting with a third party for system operations

Production:  Further development in 2012

Save the Date:  February 15, 2011 (1-2:30 pm) – Webinar on internship and mentoring programs that reflects further progress on topic 2 above.


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