Advancing Water and Wastewater Careers
On August 1, 2012 the West Virginia Rural Water Association, in cooperation with the
National Rural Water Association (NRWA), will launch an initiative to advocate the
value of professional careers in the water and wastewater industry and advance the
water and wastewater industry. NRWA, through its state rural water affiliates, is the
nation’s largest water and wastewater utility membership organization in the nation,
representing over 28,000 rural and small communities.
According to Readers Digest Magazine, there are approximately 108,330 system
personnel who operate water and wastewater systems. In the article, these positions
are listed as number 2 in the"Top 10 Jobs Americans Cannot Live Without". People
employed in these positions have tremendous responsibilities and liabilities, yet
are virtually out of sight/out of mind to the public and are often taken for granted.
"This lack of recognition, coupled with the impending workforce shortage, is the
basis for this career development initiative", stated, Debbie Britt, Executive Director.
This initiative is just a small step to gain deserved recognition for system operational
personnel, who impact our daily lives in what they do, by referring to those positions
as "System Operations Specialist" verbally, and in print. Titles project the skills,
knowledge and expertise embedded in the industry and these System Operations
Specialists should be recognized for the critical positions they hold in our
communities. The attached proclamation is the vehicle that will launch this effort.
Its success will be measured by system personnel, associations, and agencies
ingraining it into their vocabulary.