​New Program Recruits Veterans Into Water/Wastewater Industry

Words On Water podcast discusses details of the New England initiative

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A new program in New England called Water Warriors Initiatives is doing double duty by bolstering the water/wastewater industry’s aging workforce and helping U.S. Armed Forces veterans find quality careers.

The joint effort by the New England Water Environment Association (NEWEA) and its affiliated state associations aims to recruit and retain veterans in the water and wastewater infrastructure fields by offering G.I. Bill-qualified training with a stipend up to $2,000 per month for two years.

The idea is that employers can beat the wage gap and attract younger skilled workers, while the veterans can shoot for higher water/wastewater licenses sooner to encourage them to make a career in the industry.

Another aspect working well for Water Warriors Initiatives is that many of the equipment maintenance and science-based skills learned in the U.S. Armed Forces translate well into a career as a water or wastewater treatment plant operator.

Program objectives include providing education and training opportunities, streamlining the certification process for veterans, and providing placement assistance and internships.

Water Warriors Initiatives recently was discussed during a panel at NEWEA’s annual conference in Boston, Massachusetts, and also was featured in a Words On Water podcast with guests Brandi Madden of WhiteWater and Dustin Price of the Portland (Maine) Water District. Madden is a water purification specialist in the 125th Quartermaster Company with the Massachusetts Army National Guard and serves as the unit’s retention noncommissioned officer and career counselor. To listen to the podcast, click here.

To learn more about providing an internship at your facility for a veteran, contact one of the following Water Warriors Initiatives state liaisons:

Connecticut — Chris Lund at clund@groton-ct.gov

Maine — Peter Goodwin at peter.goodwin@tedberrycompany.com

Massachusetts — Jeremiah Murphy at jmpatrick27@yahoo.com

New Hampshire — Dustin Price at dustin.price77@gmail.com

Rhode Island — Janine Burke-Wells at janine.burke-wells@warwickri.com

Vermont — Bob Fischer at bfischer@sburl.com



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