Federal government addressing water industry qualified worker shortage
EPA introducing a new training program supported by the City of Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids Community College and Bay College.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is investing $3.8 million in developing the next generation of water professionals. A portion of that money, $500,000 awarded to the City of Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids Community College and Bay College implementing fresh water and wastewater introduction and training to middle and high school students and provide opportunities for high unemployment neighborhoods.
In a news release, GRCC’s School of Workforce Development says it’s launching boot camp-style workshops for anyone interested in water and wastewater careers. The services are critical to maintaining public, environmental and economic health.
Wayne Jernberg, water system manager for the city of Grand Rapids said, “Like water and sewer utilities across the nation, Grand Rapids is experiencing staffing shortages due to retirements and the lack of a diverse pool of qualified water professionals. We are confident that this partnership with GRCC will help to address our long-term workforce needs and encourage young people within the community to pursue a career in the water industry.”
Bay College is assisting with its Water Resource Management programs administering specialized training.