Florida Rural Water Association is kicking off its next Workforce Development Apprenticeship Program next week, January 12th in Bradenton! Current participating utilities cover the area from Webster to Marco Island and over to St. Cloud. In an effort to cover the whole State, FRWA is able to start the two year programs in each area on a limited basis. There are spaces available. If you are interested in learning more about the program, please contact Joni at 850-668-2746 ext 119 for more information.
The Workforce Development program offers training to new operators in water and wastewater treatment to strengthen and round out the knowledge base of the apprentice. The instructors make sure that apprentices receive the training necessary for obtaining the Water or Wastewater Class C license. However, apprentices are encouraged to not stop there! Toward the end of the two year program, additional material is covered that allows apprentices to test for higher level licenses if they have the required work experience.
Apprentices receive training outside the classroom as well through tours of other treatment facilities. FRWA's instructors also use a variety of equipment and cut away models of pumps, motors and other training devices to teach hands on maintenance and troubleshooting. Safety is a major concern in our industry and this program stresses the proper way to utilize Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and additional safety concerns that operators can encounter. Utility management training, emergency response training help each apprentice become a more valuable resource to their employer.
Florida Rural Water Association (FRWA) has partnered with the US Department of Labor (DOL) and Florida's Department of Education (DOE) in creating a workforce development program for water and wastewater operators. This program is not meant to replace any Apprenticeship or Trainee Programs utilities have in place. It is intended to enhance the training, develop relationships within the water and wastewater industry, and increase interest in a career that is vital to the health and safety of Florida.