EPA Announces Water Workforce Initiative

This week at the 92nd Annual Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference, EPA announced a new 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. According to an EPA press release, “The goal of this new initiative is to provide federal leadership, collaborate with partners and increase public awareness to bolster interest in water sector careers—a field that is charged with ensuring that all Americans have access to clean and safe water.” With many water operators eligible or soon eligible for retirement, the water industry faces a mounting workforce problem and building a diverse, skilled, and dynamic workforce is a top priority for utility organizations and the Trump Administration, according to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. The agency intends to release a draft Water Workforce Initiative for public comment this winter.