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SOURCE Summer 2012

straightfromthesource Spotlight Back on Developing the Next Water Workforce By Tim Worley, Executive Director, CA-NV AWWA Rtrained water sector employees to fill knowledge on paper and video as a critical County Water Authority.Human Resource Analyst at the San Diegoon to their replacements. Utilities shouldtake steps to capture and transfer thatecent developments have focusednew attention on the need for more in behind an expected wave of retirees. The part of their succession planning. In addition, a partnership of seven prolonged recession has produced a slow- community colleges spanning the length down in retirements, as greater economic But who will prepare the next generation of of California is the recipient of a $535,000 uncertainty has made many people of water employees? Fortunately, the CA-NV grant to build up their water career educa- retirement age postpone that decision. Section of AWWA is in a great position to tion programs. Led by Cuyamaca College fill some of the need through the education in Rancho San Diego, other colleges Ultimately, however, observers expect a and training provided by our Water College. participating in the grant program include: swelling number of retirements that will The efforts of the Education Committee College of the Redwoods (Eureka); Santa fuel a hiring surge. In many cases, experi- now will be supplemented by a newly rein- Rosa Junior College (Sonoma County); enced retirees will take with them a wealth stituted Workforce Development Council, Gavilan College (Gilroy/Salinas); College of knowledge not documented or passed under the leadership of Christina Hawkins, of the Canyons (Santa Clarita/Valencia); Santiago Canyon College (Orange County); and Taft College (Kern County). The Section will seek to work with the consortium of colleges by offering certification exams and refresher courses on campus for students in their programs, and other ways still to be explored. Another partnership recently announced has the Section running Brown and Caldwell’s highly successful BC Water Jobs on the CA-NV-AWWA.org website. This service puts hundreds of job opportunities in easy reach of our on-line visitors, so that employers and job seekers make the connection they need. To check it out, just click on the Career Center button on our homepage. Also read Bill Wulff’s column in this issue of SOURCE on another valuable effort in the area. From the education and training resources available from the Section, AWWA’s educa- tional offerings, programs at the community colleges, and collaborative efforts of water and wastewater agencies such as BayWork or in San Diego County, the infrastructure is in place to produce the next generation of water employees. To the extent our Work- force Development Council can promote coordination among these efforts, we can be even more assured of meeting the needs of water utilities into the future.S 10 SOURCE summer 2012


SOURCE Summer 2012
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