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Water and Wastewater Professionals Workforce Week begins

First of four free webinars is scheduled this afternoon

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has issued a proclamation declaring Dec. 12-18 Water and Wastewater Professionals Workforce Week. This week honors Michigan’s dedicated and highly trained operators, technicians, administrative professionals, and all other specialists who work to ensure Michigan communities have safe and reliable drinking water and rivers and lakes that are both fishable and swimmable.

As part of this statewide recognition, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) is highlighting the essential role of water and wastewater professionals in providing water services to all Michigan residents.

Michigan has thousands of certified operators and other water professionals who work behind the scenes to safely keep the taps flowing and toilets flushing. The U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected that 8.2% of existing water operators will need to be replaced annually between 2016 and 2026.

Michigan's water and wastewater industry is essential to the health and success of our state and offers a wide variety of rewarding career opportunities in the following fields:

  • Engineering
  • Biology
  • Finance
  • Chemistry
  • Business administration
  • Communications
  • Trade skills
  • Many other high-demand occupations.

“This week is a great time to highlight those professionals who work in the water and wastewater industry in Michigan. They provide vital services to ensure Michiganders have safe and reliable water supplies and help to protect Michigan’s natural resources,” said Eric Oswald, director of the Drinking Water and Environmental Health Division at EGLE.

The role of water and wastewater professionals in promoting clean and sustainable water supplies, while drawing attention to career opportunities in the water and wastewater industries and increasing awareness of the many different skills required to protect Michigan's water resources, will be the focus of this week.

EGLE kicks off the celebration at 1 p.m. today with a webinar to discuss tools to help with compliance sampling for several required drinking water parameters (for example, volatile organic compounds, bacteriological, etc.). Head over to Michigan Water and Wastewater Professionals Workforce Week to learn how to participate in four free webinars scheduled throughout the week. Operators can receive up to 0.4 water or 0.2 wastewater continuing education credits by attending these live webinar events. Also help EGLE in celebrating this week by looking for and using the hashtag #MiWaterProsWeek on social media.

To stay up to date on other EGLE news, follow us at Michigan.gov/MIEnvironment.