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Recruiting the Next Generation of Water and Wastewater Operators Utility Workforce Workshop Robert F. Canova, PE, AAEE VA AWWA/VWEA November 9, 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Recruiting the Next Generation of Water and Wastewater Operators Utility Workforce Workshop Robert F. Canova, PE, AAEE VA AWWA/VWEA November 9, 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Recruiting the Next Generation of Water and Wastewater Operators Utility Workforce Workshop Robert F. Canova, PE, AAEE VA AWWA/VWEA November 9, 2011

2 Introduction Water and wastewater industry work force is aging. Recruiting the next generation of water and wastewater operators will be a challenge Obstacles include lack of educated applicants, lack of workforce awareness of water and wastewater career opportunities, and non- competitive salaries. This presentation defines water and wastewater operator recruitment opportunities, both high school graduates and displaced adult workers Utility Workforce Workshop, November 9, 2011

3 Acknowledgements Hallie Carr, Roanoke City Coordinator of Guidance and Director of Adult Education Kim Williams, Director of ROTEC, City of Roanoke Public Schools Jackie Scruggs, PH.D, VWCC Career Coach for Roanoke City High Schools George Scott, Human Resources Director, Western Virginia Water Authority, Roanoke Leah Coffman, Workforce Development Services, Virginia Western Community College Utility Workforce Workshop, November 9, 2011

4 Acknowledgements Scott Kemp, Career Pathways Coordinator, Virginia Community College System Chuck Terrell, Ph.D., Vice President, Workforce Development Services, VWCC Laura Stevens, VWCC Professional Workforce Center Representative at Roanoke Valley Workforce Center, Roanoke Kim Moore, Roanoke Valley Workforce Center Manager, Roanoke Utility Workforce Workshop, November 9, 2011

5 Acknowledgements Doloris Vest, President, Western Virginia Workforce Development Board, Roanoke Mike Greer, Workforce Development Services, VWCC, Franklin Center, Rocky Mount Kathy Hodges, Executive Director, Franklin Center, Rocky Mount Romona Carter, Assistant Director of Field Operations, Western Virginia Water Authority Duncan Quick, Instructor, Southside Community College Utility Workforce Workshop, November 9, 2011

6 Increasing Awareness of Our Industry From August 8, 2009 Roanoke Times: Utility Workforce Workshop, November 9, 2011 “ Many places you never wanted to work. Some of the dirtiest, smelliest, most dangerous jobs are suddenly looking a lot more appealing in this economy - trash collector, slaughterhouses, sewage treatment plants, prisons”

7 Benefits of a Career in Water and Wastewater Operations It is “green” It is responsible It is secure It offers advancement opportunities Utility Workforce Workshop, November 9, 2011

8 Notable Water and Wastewater Operators Utility Workforce Workshop, November 9, 2011 First lady Michelle Obama’s father Fraser Robinson III was a pump worker for the City of Chicago. He tended the boilers at a water-filtration plant.

9 Operator Recruitment Allies Career and Technical Education school administrators Guidance Counselors in local high schools Community College Career Coaches One-Stop Workforce Center Career Counselors Utility Workforce Workshop, November 9, 2011

10 Recruiting Career and Technical School Graduates - Limitations No career/technical schools or graduates in Virginia. Any student can take a career/technical class No dedicated career counselors for students attending career/technical classes No water/wastewater treatment classes in the 16 States’ Career Clusters Initiative structure Water/wastewater careers difficult to locate on VA Dept of Education website “knowhowva.org” Utility Workforce Workshop, November 9, 2011

11 Recruiting Career and Technical School Graduates - Opportunities Career and Technical School directors offer career exploration programs for elementary and middle school students. Programs are opportunities to educate students about water/wastewater systems and employees Career and Technical School directors conduct monthly regional meetings. Presentation about water/wastewater industry career opportunities is welcomed at meetings Utility Workforce Workshop, November 9, 2011

12 Recruiting High School Graduates All senior high school students complete a Career Studies program, limited to preparation of a resume and portfolio. Career counseling is not a priority for school guidance counselors. When requested, career coaches (not counselors) at school give student a KUDOR or Wizard career-assessment and interest tutorial. Guidance counselors offer elementary and middle school career exploration activities. Utility Workforce Workshop, November 9, 2011

13 Career Coaches Virginia Community College System employs 120 part-time Career Coaches Located at high schools to supplement school guidance counselors Assist students with career path decisions, financial aid and college enrollment applications, and are liaisons with community colleges Attend annual Career Coach Academy and regional training sessions, where career presentations are welcome Utility Workforce Workshop, November 9, 2011

14 History of Federal Workforce Initiatives Civilian Conservation Corps and Works Progress Administration of 1930’s Manpower Development Training Act of 1960’s and Jobs Corps of 1964 Comprehensive Employment Act of 1973 Job Training Partnership Act of 1982 Workforce Investment Act of 1998, which mandates and funds One-Stop Workforce Centers Utility Workforce Workshop, November 9, 2011

15 One-Stop Workforce Centers Provide publicly funded employment and training services for adults, dislocated workers, veterans, and youth. Pay for tuition, books, travel, stipend. Administered by Governor's Office for Workforce Development through community colleges TAP, VA Employment Commission, Dept of Rehabilitative Services, Goodwill Industries, Adult Basic Education (G.E.D. program), and community colleges are mandatory partners. Utility Workforce Workshop, November 9, 2011

16 One-Stop Workforce Centers Utility Workforce Workshop, November 9, 2011

17 One-Stop Workforce Centers After 13 Years of Workforce Investment Act, Virginia has not fully embraced One-Stop Lack of agency partnering has hindered implementation Franklin Center began operation in 1998 Roanoke Valley Workforce Center began operation in 2009 and is designated the prototype Utility Workforce Workshop, November 9, 2011

18 Cooperating with One Stop for Operator Recruitment One-Stop Workforce Center can be recruitment center for water and wastewater operator positions. Need to educate staff with presentation to the Workforce Investment Board Need to provide water and wastewater operator career materials to One-Stop Workforce Centers Integrate One-Stop Workforce Center with local operator education and training programs Utility Workforce Workshop, November 9, 2011

19 Recruiting Veterans Special qualifications of veterans are defined by their Military Occupation Specialty (MOS) code. Civilian career counselors must be able to translate military qualifications to civilian skills GI Bill provides job training financing for up to 36 months. However, training programs must be prior-approved by the Dept of Veterans Services Virginia Employment Commission has a statewide veterans program. Coordinate with VEC through One-Stop Workforce Centers Utility Workforce Workshop, November 9, 2011

20 Virginia Work for Water Exhibit Utility Workforce Workshop, November 9, 2011

21 Educate school students & career counselors about local utilities Encourage plant tours and utility department involvement in schools Utility Workforce Workshop, November 9, 2011

22 Recruit Seniors and Adults to Local Education and Training Programs VPI Water Works/Wastewater Works Operators Short Schools (Blacksburg) DEQ Office of Operator Training Workshops (State-wide) Dept of Labor and Industry Apprenticeship Program (State-wide) (www.dpor.virginia.gov) Wytheville CC Short Courses Mt. Empire CC On-Line 2-yr Associate of Applied Science Degree (Big Stone Gap) Utility Workforce Workshop, November 9, 2011

23 Recruit Seniors and Adults to Local Education and Training Programs Hampton Roads Public Works Academy Fairfax County Sewer Science Program Loudoun Water Internship Program VA Western CC Career Studies Program for Water and Wastewater Operators (Roanoke) Roanoke Valley Public Works Academy Southside CC, Blackstone Campus (Ft Pickett) Utility Workforce Workshop, November 9, 2011

24 VWCC Career Studies Program for Water and Wastewater Operators ENV 110 – Introduction to Water and Wastewater Treatment Technology ENV 115 – Water Purification ENV 147 – Wastewater Treatment ENV 148 – Math for Water and Wastewater Operators PSY 120 – Human Relations in Workforce SAF 126 – Principals of Industrial Safety Utility Workforce Workshop, November 9, 2011

25 Roanoke Regional PW Academy Western Virginia Water Authority, Roanoke City, Roanoke Co, Salem, Vinton, Roanoke Gas, Virginia Western CC, Bedford Co PSA. Adding Clifton Forge and Blacksburg Each member hosts and collects fees for a 4-hr training program every other month Commercial drivers license training, VDOT work zone safety Might add long-term training programs in future Utility Workforce Workshop, November 9, 2011

26 Southside Community College, Blackstone Campus at Ft Pickett Truck Driver Training Career Studies, 6-week course Diesel Technician Career Studies, three 8-week sessions Wastewater Treatment Short Courses Recently discontinued dozer, loader and motor grader operator training Utility Workforce Workshop, November 9, 2011

27 Portland, Connecticut High School Water Operator Course One semester “Water and People” class Taught at Gateway Community College Students sit for Water Operator Certification Exam before high school graduation Sponsored by Connecticut Section of AWWA USEPA is preparing video about program See AWWA Streamlines, August 18, 2009 Utility Workforce Workshop, November 9, 2011

28 AWWA Recruitment Resources

29 Utility Workforce Workshop, November 9, 2011 WEF Recruitment Resources

30 Water/Wastewater Career Descriptions with Salary Ranges Plant Operator, Plant Manager Chemist, Lab Technician, Microbiologist Distribution System Worker, Equipment Operator Engineer, Hydrologist Customer Services Representative Information Technology-GIS Specialist Utility Workforce Workshop, November 9, 2011

31 Current Virginia Work for Water Committee Activities Contacting local Directors of Guidance to initiate VA Work for Water participation in Virginia school career exploration activities Created VA Work for Water exhibit and handouts Exhibiting at middle and high school career fairs Distributing water and wastewater operator recruitment material to guidance counselors, Career Coaches, and One-Stop Workforce Centers Implementing recruitment centers at One-Stop Workforce Centers

32 Utility Workforce Workshop, November 9, 2011 Next Steps in Operator Recruitment Continue regional “Filling the People Pipeline” seminars Make presentations to Workforce Investment Boards at each One-Stop Workforce Center Make presentations to local Career and Technical Education Directors and Career Coaches Encourage use of VEC web site (vec.virginia.gov) for advertisement of all water and wastewater positions available


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