Gov. Greg Abbott announced on June 23 that more than $5.2 million in Texas Talent Connection grants would be awarded to 15 innovative workforce skills training and job placement programs across the state, including Collin College. The college was awarded $158,664 for its Waterworks training program.
Collin College, in collaboration with the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD), is creating a Waterworks training program to address the growing worker shortage across the water/wastewater treatment industry.
“We are very excited to be working with the team at the North Texas Municipal Water District to create a new Waterworks program that is so important to the health of our community,” said Natalie Greenwell, director of workforce and economic development at Collin College. “We are also very thankful to the state for the opportunity to quickly launch state-recognized licensure training and internships that propel students into new careers. This is a state, college, and business partnership at its best.”
Greenwell said worker shortages have made it challenging to keep up with the growing population’s water use. The water district serves 1.7 million people, manages six water treatment plants, and maintains 576 miles of water transmission pipeline through 14 pump stations. Over the next five years, to maintain quality water services, the NTMWD expects to hire more than 200 employees.
“NTMWD is excited to partner with Collin College to provide a pathway for students interested in working in water and wastewater operations – a great career field that provides vital services our communities will always need,” said Tom Kula, NTMWD executive director. “This new program will help develop a pipeline of future employees critical to supporting our fast-growing North Texas region.”
The Waterworks training program consists of two training paths, one for water operators and the other for wastewater operators. Sixty students will take a series of classes culminating in a Class D Water or Class D Wastewater license awarded by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). Following the training and licensure attainment, participants will gain on-the-job experience with a five-week internship.
Contact Linda Wee, director of workforce and professional development at Collin College Continuing Education, for more information about the training program at firstname.lastname@example.org or (972) 377-1061.