The Florida Rural Water Association is embarking on a new training program to increase and enhance Water Utility Operators and Workers. The program will help provide water and wastewater utilities with skilled and trained employees through apprenticeship. Apprenticeship is a tried and true method of enhancing employees' skills and technical knowledge. Our
goal is to provide the future work force the technical training and on-the-job training needed to become effective operators.
The Program is approved through the US Department of Labor and Florida Department of Education. New hires and current employees are eligible for the two year program. Requirements include On The Job Training (OJT) that the system will supply and Related Technical Instruction (RTI) that will be roughly two days a month.
Apprenticeship offers many benefits to both future operators and systems. The apprentice gets full-time employment from an established system that offers on-the-job learning. This apprentice learns about the system that employs them, picking up critical knowledge about the system's assets. The apprentice also gets the chance to learn from a mentor, an operator already licensed and with experience in the field. This mentor can offer helpful information on how to advance within the industry.
Apprentices receive technical instruction in addition to their on-the-job learning. This instruction helps to strengthen and round out the knowledge base of the apprentice, making them a more valuable employee. This training is provided by FRWA staff with assistance from our associate members and vendors to ensure the apprentices receive the highest quality training.
The program also includes the coursework required for receiving a Class C operator's license for water or wastewater. Since apprentices are also full-time employees of a water or wastewater utility, they will earn the required hours for their license.