Workforce

  • NEWS

      The California Water, Wastewater and Energy Workforce Development Program awarded Long Beach City College (LBCC) a $750,000 grant to establish a Regional Consortium in Los Angeles and Orange counties that will lead efforts to train and place at least 70 underrepresented workers into the water and energy sectors. The new program will begin training individuals in fall...

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        As California’s water, wastewater, irrigation, and regulatory agencies face a wave of retirements, the state’s water associations are on a mission to elevate the profile of water-related careers. In recent years, California water agencies have witnessed a significant portion of their workforce retiring, up to 50% of the workforce at several agencies. “From finance and...

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          The Office of Operator Certification is excited to announce a NEW online application submittal portal for the Drinking Water Operator Certification (Distribution and Treatment-Grades 1 and 2) and Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator Certification (Grades 1 and 2) Examination applications! You can now submit applications online for the following drinking water and wastewater examinations: Grade 1 Drinking...

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            The US Water Alliance spoke with Louisville MSD and DC Water for some insight into their organizations’ efforts to seek out and maintain a diverse workplace. The VOW Workforce Diversity Toolkit contains materials to assist in the pursuit of a more diverse team—we hope you’ll use these tips, too. 1) Establish company values during the...

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              Tough engineering challenges in the City of Los Angeles require creative thinking and a wide diversity of perspectives. While the second largest city in the U.S. has plenty of opportunities for engineers to shine, many students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) may not be aware of just how interesting and rewarding public service...

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                The Centers of Excellence for Labor Market Research (COE) unveiled a new water and wastewater workforce report at today’s Water Energy Education Alliance (WEEA or Alliance) Leadership Roundtable meeting. The Alliance has formed a statewide advisory that will focus on developing collective deliverables that address the recommendations in the report titled “California Workforce Needs in the Water/Wastewater Industry.” This...

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                  CWEA and WEF are undertaking large, strategic initiatives to bolster diversity, equity, and inclusion within the water and wastewater profession. WEF is rolling out new initiatives, and CWEA has developed JEDI-Openers – stories about diversity that can help leaders start meetings with a short diversity moment. We recently pulled our membership demographic data and found...

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                    Join one of our virtual, regional water career fairs coming up on October 3-6. California’s water and wastewater agencies are hiring right now for a variety of exciting and interesting roles. A career in water offers numerous benefits, including: family sustaining wages and benefits; opportunity to work on a great team; and serving your community...

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                      We are pleased to welcome these impressive women in water for an insightful conversation about their professional journeys. Join us as we hear how they navigate challenges and balance their professional and personal priorities, share their best advice, and answer audience questions. TUESDAY, OCTOBER 4TH 11:00 to Noon FREE for everyone REGISTER FOR THE WEBINAR...

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                        As the exodus of water workers continues due to retirements, agencies are discovering a painful truth – the pipeline of incoming talent is running dry. Adding to recruitment struggles, most Californians don’t know water careers exist. For two water districts in southern Los Angeles County, the growing number of job openings and lack of public...

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                          Driven by the rapidly growing demands for skilled career professionals in the water and wastewater industry, National University and Cuyamaca College will launch a new degree pathway program starting in February 2021. Developed in collaboration with regional employers, the new Bachelor of Public Administration degree with a concentration in Waterworks Management provides a seamless pathway for graduates...

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                            On February 16th we hosted our second Diversity in California Water panel discussion. Two California water leaders shared lessons learned to support DEI efforts within their agencies. The agencies are members of the California Urban Water Agencies (CUWA). They have developed a DEI Toolkit for water and wastewater agencies to help support their diversity programs....

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                              The California water sector is rapidly hiring. How do we reflect California’s diversity at all levels of our workforce and foster a more inclusive environment with our co-workers? Watch the panel of water leaders discuss workforce development programs, new DEI efforts and what can hold back diversity efforts and the champions we need to move...

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                                The Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA) has collaborated with IEWorks to welcome three new interns in the Operations Division. The Agency’s Board of Directors executed a Charter in May 2021 to sign on as a participating agency for IEWorks, a workforce development group developed by Jewish Vocational Services (JVS) that focuses on developing qualified employees in...

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                                  Resources for Veterans Interested in Water Careers October 6th, 11:00 a.m.to Noon informational webinar Veterans in Water – registration link October 7th, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. California Water Career fair California Water Jobs board – sign-up for job alerts Baywork career resources for veterans California’s water utilities now hiring and veterans have the skills utilities...

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                                    In June, West Basin Board President Gloria D. Gray publicly declared the District’s ongoing commitment to support and celebrate the diversity of its workforce and the communities served by the District. Commenting on a number of recent events that have occurred throughout the country, President Gray also stated that racial bias and injustice should never...

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                                      Howard Brewen Water Resource Recovery Facility Superintendent (Retired) Public Utilities City of San Luis Obispo Howard Brewen took the road less traveled to his position as superintendent of the Water Resource Recovery Facility for the City of San Luis Obispo.  Raised on his family’s ranch in north San Luis Obispo County, he followed in his...

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                                        More women are joining the California water sector than ever before and moving-up to leadership roles. Major barriers and challenges still remain when it comes to recruiting and joining our profession. A diverse panel of women shared their experiences and insights on the barriers women face entering the water sector. The panel discussed key topics...

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                                          Working together to provide an extraordinary academic and work experience that will deliver stable, higher-paying jobs to the Inland Empire, today West Valley Water District (WVWD) Board of Directors President Channing Hawkins and San Bernardino Valley Community College (SBVCC) President Diana Rodriguez signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to create paid or non-paid and part-time or full-time internships and...

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                                            Today, at the virtual 2020 WEFTEC conference, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced the next step in EPA’s effort to help address workforce challenges that are facing America’s drinking water and wastewater utilities. The new America’s Water Sector Workforce Initiative outlines actions that the public and private sector are committing to that...

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                                              View CWEA’s round-up of Coronavirus (COVID-19) worker safety information here > Message from the US EPA… Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler sent a letter to Governors in all 50 states, territories and Washington, D.C. urging them to ensure that drinking water and wastewater employees are considered essential workers by state authorities...

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                                                Coverage of water workforce topics is supported by waterTALENT COVID-19 in CA Webinar – Continuity of Operations and Emergency Staffing was held on Thursday, April 9th. The webinar is supported by DUDEK. This is CWEA’s second webinar in our COVID-19 series. Recording:  A recording of the webinar is available on YouTube.  Feel free to forward...

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                                                  CWEA’s coverage of the water workforce is supported by WaterTalent Obstacles and paths to water operator careers By Katherine Saltzman Amid retirement surges across the water workforce, there are ongoing discussions about the urgency to recruit, train, and retain new professionals. Part of this effort involves establishing the water sector as an attractive career path...

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                                                    Coverage of water workforce topics supported by waterTALENT At WEFTEC 2019 in Chicago, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Water Dennis Lee Forsgren Jr., announced a new effort to help American utilities surmount the looming water-sector skills shortage expected in coming years. During WEFTEC Technical Session No. 200: Water Policy Update,...

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                                                      Coverage of water workforce topics supported by waterTALENT Dear Fellow Water Professionals, During CA Water Professionals Appreciation Week, Oct 5-13, we encourage all water professionals, agencies and firms to get out there and celebrate their amazing people. Download the CA Water Professionals Week logo and artwork from the toolkit below. In addition next week, CWEA...

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                                                        Coverage of water workforce topics supported by waterTALENT The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the Water Workforce Initiative to help cities and communities across the country that are facing critical staffing shortages for the operation and maintenance of essential drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. The goal of this new initiative is to provide federal leadership,...

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                                                          Coverage of water workforce topics supported by waterTALENT The Cucamonga Valley Water District is embarking on a first-time partnership with OPARC starting in November 2018. OPARC is a non-profit organization that facilitates meaningful employment opportunities for adults with disabilities in Southern California. The partnership with CVWD will give OPARC clients the opportunity to paint fire...

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                                                            by Scott Carroll, General Manager of the Costa Mesa Sanitary District Firefighters statewide are being praised for their valiant and heroic efforts to save property and lives in the countless wildfires that have burned recently throughout California, and they absolutely deserve this praise.  In particular, their courage and commitment to protecting the community was demonstrated in...

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                                                              CWEA’s coverage of the water workforce issues is supported by WaterTalent In a recent interview published in TPO Magazine, Ingrid Bella of Santa Clara Valley Water District shares how their agency partners with organizations like BAYWORK to recruit the next generation of water professionals. BAYWORK, in the San Francisco area, is taking a regional collaboration...

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                                                                Coverage of water workforce topics supported by waterTALENT Debi Lewis Past President 2017-2018 Professional Engineer Stantec Debi Lewis’ career began in business administration working for an ad agency. She started as a secretary in the Pasadena office of James M. Montgomery, which later became MWH and is now Stantec. Eventually she became an office manager...

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                                                                  California’s water and wastewater agencies need approximately 6,000 new workers every year and that number continues to grow as more and more water professionals retire. Water careers provide an incredible opportunity for individuals who enjoy working with their hands, working outdoors and working as part of a larger team. Water careers offer great salaries and...

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                                                                    Press release from the Brookings Institute… Building off previous workforce research, the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program has released a first-of-its-kind analysis of jobs involved in the construction, operation, and maintenance of the country’s water infrastructure. Nearly 1.7 million workers fill jobs in utilities, construction firms, and numerous other employers across the water sector, while facing...

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                                                                      As we build California’s water utilities of the future, one of the most common issues raised is workforce readiness. Where will all of those highly-skilled and experienced water professionals come from?  Particularly since 30-50% of the current workforce is in the process of retiring. To better understand the workforce skills gap, the Water Research Foundation...

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                                                                        About this series:  Each month CWEA is interviewing an innovative thinker in the water profession. We’re asking each person “The future of the water profession is …” Juan Guerreiro Deputy Director City of San Diego, Public Utilities Department Grade V Wastewater Treatment Operator, SWRCB Dual-Associate Degrees, Water and Wastewater, Cuyamaca College Bachelors Degree, San Diego State University...

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                                                                          California’s water and wastewater agencies need approximately 6,000 new workers every year and that number continues to grow as more and more water professionals retire. To highlight the wide variety of career paths available in the sector, several California associations have launched CAWaterInterns.org. The site lists available internships, apprenticeships and operator-in-training opportunities at California water...

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                                                                            About this series:  Each month CWEA is interviewing an innovative thinker in the water profession. We’re asking each person “The future of the water profession is …” Prior to becoming a water professional, Richard Salas worked for McDonald Douglas as a structural mechanic. “Working at McDonald Douglas gave me an appreciation of attention to detail,” Richard...

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                                                                              California’s first-ever Water Professionals Appreciation Week launched this past October 7th-15th as part of a new annual designation intended to highlight the important role of water industry professionals and local public water agencies in ensuring safe and reliable water, wastewater, and recycled water in California. Established by Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 80, it was approved by...

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                                                                                On Friday Sept 29th Baywork released their long awaited report on water workforce reliability before a gathering of 65 representatives from water utilities, associations and community colleges. The Bay Area will need over 828 new water professionals in the next three years and there are not enough students in the training pipeline right now the...

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                                                                                  Dear CWEA Member, I wanted to share with you the news the Legislature has created California Water Professionals Appreciation Week for the first full week of October each year. This year it’s October 7-15th. “Resolved by the Senate of California, and the Assembly concurring, the Legislature designates Water Professionals Appreciation Week during October. The Legislature...

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                                                                                    Do you feel the love? Can you hear the noise? It’s a resounding “THANK YOU” bouncing off the walls of the State Capitol. That’s right! Coming in the first week of October and every October from here to eternity will now be Water Professionals Appreciation Week! California’s first-ever Water Professionals Appreciation Week will launch this...