EPA and Veterans Affairs to Connect Veterans with Jobs in the Water Sector

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program have formalized a memorandum of understanding to connect veterans with disabilities to career opportunities in the water and wastewater facilities as part of EPA’s Water Sector Workforce Initiative.

The agreement allows EPA and VA to connect qualified veteran employees with staffing needs at water and wastewater utilities. EPA and the VA will work with water utilities, states, and local VA counselors to promote water sector careers and resources for finding water jobs for veterans as well as educational programs to help veterans transition into careers in water industries.

More than one-third of all current water operators are eligible to retire within seven years and, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment for water and wastewater operators is expected to grow by 20 percent between 2008 and 2018, faster than the national average for all other occupations. EPA sees the need to invest now in creating a pipeline of future water sector professionals to fill these essential water sector careers.

VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program assists more than 100,000 disabled veterans annually prepare for, find, and maintain meaningful careers. Veterans are an important target group for water and wastewater utility jobs because many veterans already possess training and technical skills that are directly transferable to careers in the water sector. There is a wide spectrum of water sector careers that veterans could be qualified for, including engineering, laboratory and water science, operations and maintenance, management and administration, communications, and public education. The Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program further supports veterans for the water workforce by providing necessary accommodations and additional training as needed.

To learn more about EPA’s Water Sector Workforce Initiative, please click on the following weblink:  http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/sustain/ws_workforce.cfm.

You can also read more about VA connecting qualified veterans with employer needs by going to:   http://www.vetsuccess.gov/

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