Joint Webinar – DWSRF and Capacity Building in Action – Workforce Development and Operator Training

Interested in learning about how DWSRF set-asides can be used for workforce development and operator training activities?

DATE:              Tuesday, September 25, 2018

TIME:               1:00-2:00PM (eastern)

REGISTER:      Click Here

Join EPA DWSRF and Sustainable Systems Teams for a webinar to hear about Iowa’s Water and Wastewater Treatment Technology Diploma Program, Tennessee’s Fleming Training Center for operators, and EPA’s workforce resources and tools.

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WEBINAR:  Renewing the Water Workforce: Improving Water Infrastructure and Creating a Pipeline to Opportunity

Our colleague, Jane Thapa, Operator Certification Coordinator in the New York Department of Health, forwarded this webinar opportunity from The Water Research Foundation (WRF).  Thanks, Jane!

DATE:              August 28, 2018

TIME:               3:00-4:00PM (eastern)

REGISTER:      https://event.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1204453&tp_key=c7271668a7

Hosted by WRF, this free webcast will explore the findings of Renewing the Water Workforce: Improving Water Infrastructure and Creating a Pipeline to Opportunity, published by the Metropolitan Policy Program at The Brookings Institute. This research provides insight on the nation’s 1.7 million water workers, including data on wages, skills, and demographics. The speakers will also present actionable strategies—a new water workforce playbook—that all types of leaders can use in future hiring, training, and retention efforts.

As the U.S. economy continues to grow, many communities are struggling to translate this growth into more equitable and inclusive employment opportunities. Meanwhile, many of our infrastructure assets are in urgent need of repair or restoration, and the workers needed to carry out these efforts are in short supply. These two challenges offer an enormous economic opportunity: infrastructure is well positioned to offer more durable careers to a wide variety of workers. The United States needs a new generation of skilled workers to design, construct, operate, and govern our various infrastructure systems. It falls to water utilities, workforce development partners, and local, state, and national leaders to develop a water workforce to meet ongoing demands, ideally connected to the diverse residents and communities they serve.

NEW:  Knowledge Retention and Preventive Maintenance Log Tools

 

 

EPA has released two interactive tools to support water system operators in providing safe drinking water and protecting public health: the Knowledge Retention Tool and the Electronic Preventive Maintenance Logs.  Both resources can be found at this link, and are available for immediate download.

The Knowledge Retention Tool is a comprehensive Excel spreadsheet to record system management information in a single location, helping to increase organization and coordination among operators.  Designed to assist in personnel transition, the tool encompasses a wide variety of information that a new or contract operator would need to effectively manage and operate a small water system.

The Electronic Preventive Maintenance Logs are an electronic update (zip file) to the Preventive Maintenance Card File for Small Public Water Systems Using Ground Water released in 2004.  This tool includes fillable pdf logs for each month, this tool includes common daily, weekly, and monthly tasks, and a suggested schedule of annual tasks, which assist water system operators in planning and recording preventive operation and maintenance tasks for small drinking water systems.  This tool is designed to equip operators with many of the resources necessary to maintain SDWA compliance and provide safe drinking water to the communities they serve.

Questions?  Please contact EPA’s Leslie Temple at temple.leslie@epa.gov

EPA Hosts Water Workforce Webinar

Join EPA HQ and water operators in Idaho to learn more about the tools supporting water system operators in their role of protecting public health.  Register today for Supporting the Water Workforce: Tools for Water System Operators:  The Knowledge Retention Tool and Electronic Preventive Maintenance Logs

DATE:              Thursday, March 1, 2018

TIME:               2:00-3:00PM (eastern)

REGISTER:      Click here

Whether managing regular system maintenance, preparing for personnel transition, or entering into a partnership with a neighboring system, operators can benefit from incorporating these tools into their system’s management. Presenters from Idaho will share their first-hand experiences using the tools and highlight key features.  Please share this opportunity with your systems, assistance providers, and other state personnel with an interest in workforce issues.

GAO Releases Water Workforce Report

Earlier today, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a new report titled Water and Wastewater Workforce: Recruiting Approached Helped Industry Hire Operators, but Additional EPA Guidance Could Help Identify Future Needs (GAO-18-102).  The study, reviewing workforce needs within the drinking water and wastewater industry, was requested by the Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies.

As the Report’s Highlights document states, “This report describes (1) what is known about workforce needs at water utilities compared with workforce needs nationwide and effects of potential unmet workforce needs on the utilities’ compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act and Clean Water Act; (2) approaches used by selected utilities to manage their workforce needs and challenges they have faced in managing those needs; and (3) ways in which federal programs can assist water utilities with workforce needs.”

In summary, “GAO recommends that EPA add strategic workforce planning questions, such as the positions and skills needed in the future, to its inspection guidance documents. EPA generally agreed with GAO’s recommendation as it related to drinking water, but neither agreed nor disagreed regarding wastewater. GAO believes the entire recommendation should be implemented.”

A complete copy of the Report may be downloaded here.

NRWA’s New Workforce Apprenticeship Program

Last November, ASDWA attended the formal signing of an agreement between NRWA and the US Department of Labor to launch and support a workforce apprenticeship program.  That agreement reflects nearly two years of effort culminating in the National Guidelines for Apprenticeship Standards for Water and Wastewater System Operations Specialists.

The program supports a two-year registered apprenticeship.  Participants, or apprentices, are placed at a water utility where they receive 4,000 hours of on the job training and an additional 288 hours of training and instruction by state rural water association staff.  Thus far, the Alliance of Indiana Rural Water has developed a program, submitted and received approval from the Department of Labor, and is the first state to have a Registered Apprenticeship Program using the jointly developed national standards.

For more information on this effort, please contact your state’s rural water association.  To read more about the program, please visit the NRWA website https://nrwa.org/ and click on the magazine link under the “News and Media” tab.

EFCN Hosts Workforce and Capital Planning Webinars

Our colleagues at the Environmental Finance Center Network (EFCN) are offering two webinars in June that may be just what you’re looking for…

 

Sigh up for the EFCN webinar titled Ask the Expert:  Workforce Development

DATE:              Thursday, June 8

TIME:               2:00-3:00PM (eastern)

REGISTER:      https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/311472233766650883

This no cost webinar will include a brief overview of several of the major components of workforce development including recruitment, succession planning, and evaluating performance. This webinar will allow extended additional time for questions and discussion from the audience.

 

Join EFCN a week later for another free webinar, this one to Ask the Expert:  Advice on Capital Planning for Your Water System

DATE:              Wednesday, June 14

TIME:               2:00-3:00PM (eastern)

REGISTER:      https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/2332795720187920899

This online forum offers a unique opportunity to ask any and all questions regarding water system capital planning.  If you are interested in undertaking long term planning for your system, this is your chance to ask some of the tough questions…where do I start; are capital plans and asset management plans the same thing; what types of assets belong in a capital plan; how can I tie needed capital improvements to change my rates; what resources or software will help me make a good plan???

Workforce Webinar Reminder

Don’t forget to register and join our colleagues at the Environmental Finance Center Network (EFCN) and AWWA as they present a comprehensive overview of the components of attracting, maintaining, and retaining a quality workforce.

Workforce Development:  An Overview of Key Components

DATE:              Tuesday, April 4, 2017

TIME:               1:00-2:00PM (eastern)

REGISTER:      Click here to Register

Topics covered will include:  recruitment, retention, evaluating performance, succession planning, and communicating about the industry.

EFCN & AWWA Host a Workforce Webinar

Please join our colleagues at the Environmental Finance Center Network (EFCN) and AWWA as they present a comprehensive overview of the components of attracting, maintaining, and retaining a quality workforce.

Workforce Development:  An Overview of Key Components

DATE:              Tuesday, April 4, 2017

TIME:               1:00-2:00PM (eastern)

REGISTER:      Click here Register

Topics covered will include:  recruitment, retention, evaluating performance, succession planning, and communicating about the industry,

Please share this information with those in your state with an interest in Workforce issues.

Retaining Your Workforce Webinar

Our EFCN colleagues are hosting a webinar to share strategies on how small systems can retain a happy workforce.

DATE:              December 8, 2016

TIME:               2:00-3:00PM (eastern)

REGISTER:      https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1046788224422506497

This webinar will provide some useful retention practices for small systems to use to maintain a strong and happy workforce.  It also will share evaluation tools that can be used to measure employee performance and support professional development.