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EPA Releases America’s Water Workforce Initiative

This week, EPA released America’s Water Workforce Initiative, a two-year effort involving many partners across the water sector and signals a call to action for stakeholders to come together to address workforce challenges.

The Workforce Initiative includes the following action areas:

  • Action Area 1: Provide federal leadership to create national momentum and coordinate efforts
    • Collaborating with federal agencies to support the water workforce
    • Recruiting a diverse and dedicated workforce by enhancing women and veteran participation in the water sector
    • Forging new hands-on experiences and training with the Department of Education
    • Public outreach efforts through social media, podcasts, news outlets and available websites
  • Action Area 2: Partner to build the water workforce of the future
    • Working with water sector associations and utilities to develop case studies of successful workforce development strategies
    • Working with states through virtual sessions on capacity building and compliance for disadvantaged systems, use of asset management or financial resilience, and adaptive training, testing, and hiring techniques, which will improve the in-person 2021 Capacity Development and Operator Certification National Workshop
  • Action Area 3: Bolster education and outreach to make water a career of choice
    • Implementing AWIA-authorized Workforce Grant Program
    • Promoting water careers through school career day events
    • Promote public health and jobs in underserved communities through water workforce
      engagement
    • Promoting underrepresented groups in the water sector workforce

Going forward, EPA will not only work with the many partners included in this Initiative, but also seeks to bring in other partners who are committed to bolstering our critically important water workforce. In order to sustain progress and continual improvement, EPA intends to biannually convene both existing and new partners to assess our progress, identify new opportunities, and strengthen our collaboration. Additionally, EPA will publish annual updates to this Initiative.