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The Water Tower Launches Water Workforce for Resilient Communities Program

Program offers training for key water careers for job seekers in the Metro Atlanta Area.

The Water Tower Launches Water Workforce for Resilient Communities Program

It is estimated that many water utilities will lose up to 50 percent of their operations staff in the next 5-10 years. To address this need, The Water Tower launched the “Water Workforce for Resilient Communities” program to train existing and attract new water and wastewater operators.

The Water Tower (TWT), a water innovation campus that includes training, laboratory, and demonstration facilities in Buford, launched in 2019 and opened its campus in 2022. Through the campus, educational programs, and a broad network of partners and collaborators, The Water Tower offers real-world solutions for water utilities and helps the public gain a better understanding of the resources and professionals needed to provide clean water in our communities.

TWT’s workforce programming focuses on outreach and recruitment, training, and placement of qualified candidates in North Georgia geographical region to benefit job seekers and utilities in these communities. The Water Workforce for Resilient Communities program will engage both underserved populations and those in other service industries who lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To help connect candidates with socio-economic challenges with the training program, TWT partnered with local nonprofits Georgia Center for Opportunity and Corners Outreach to help with specialized recruitment and focused coaching. The program is funded through U.S Department of Treasury Coronavirus Fiscal Recovery funds under the American Rescue Plan Act, coordinated by Gwinnett County.

“There are an estimated 1,200 open water jobs in the Atlanta Metro Area alone,” said Melissa Meeker, CEO of The Water Tower. “This program allows us to work with key social nonprofits in our region to connect those looking for a new job or career change to train for an essential career in the water industry – not only helping job seekers, but also connecting the graduates with utilities in our region who desperately need qualified candidates at their facilities.”

The program offers two tracks – an 8-month work-study program geared toward high school seniors, and a concentrated 4-month program. Training includes classroom instruction by Georgia Water & Wastewater Institute augmented with online and hands-on training at The Water Tower and partner utilities to set trainees up for success. A career mapping app, currently under development by Julius Education, will provide water utility career paths, salary information, mobility plans, and other key information for trainees and interested applicants.

The training program culminates with the state certification exam. Once licensed, TWT will help place qualified candidates at water and wastewater utilities in North Georgia.

The first cohort of trainees will begin in September 2022. Interested candidates may contact info@theh2otower.org to learn more and apply. For more information on The Water Tower, visit www.h2otower.org.

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