Streamline - Spring 2016 - (Page 15)
Implementing A Career
BY LUCIAN LINEBERRY, CIRCUIT RIDER #1
THIS ARTICLE IS a follow up of Streamline's Fall 2014 issue. The past sub-title, "Encouraging the Profession" and this one,
"Implementing a Career," relate to both the shortage of water and wastewater operators, and the lack of interest as a career.
As stated previously, the retirement
percentage is at approximately 20-25
percent within the last 10-year period.
These positions are being filled at a
much lower rate for various reasons.
Local and utility budgets are a factor at
most establishments, sometimes limiting salary pay, educational opportunities, and other benefits that may be
provided by private industry. Testing
for certification seems to be a big
negative, concerning personal moral
and self-confidence. Those considering trainee positions are intimidated
by said testing, especially the math
involved. Facility schedules may be a
conflict with some, for whom family
is, of course, a primary responsibility.
Other reasons are present, involving
both the facility and the individual,
at said times and situations. Again,
referring to the previous article, the
most obvious reason for people not considering water/wastewater as a career
is the lack of knowledge concerning
As operators, directors, managers,
etc., we know that the profession offers
an excellent opportunity for those who
aren't considering college, technical
school or other educational facilities,
which may not allow them to accrue
credits toward their field of study, and
also requires their personal cost. Our
profession allows those interested, as
a trainee, to accumulate credits and
time toward certification testing, and
also be employed. A career as a "profession," in the treatment field can be
accomplished with only a high school
diploma or a GED.
Sounds pretty enticing??!! Once
again, the main hurdle seems to be
communicating this opportunity to the
public. How can we "ADVERTISE"
our profession? Referring to the previous article, each locale should be
able to look at their individual situation and spell out a solution to suit
their needs. From previous experience,
a few programs that succeeded were:
an internship involving classes and
training at a facility (earning credit
hours for certification test); tours
and introductory sessions concerning
operations, career opportunities, etc.
with high school juniors and seniors.
This program may be coordinated with
schools' distributive education classes
or student guidance faculty. Tours for
all age groups seemed to spark interest
in different areas, i.e. plant operations,
The majority of individuals who initially choose
water and/or wastewater as a job decide to
make it a career. They take on the challenge and
responsibility of the position and respect the
involvement of a family atmosphere.
computer technology, lab test; inviting
potential trainees to classes (math?) to
allow them to gather some knowledge
concerning the occupation and maybe
realize the math "isn't all that bad."
Tearing down the "I can't do it" wall
is the first step in landing future career
operators who will be an asset to your
facility. Leaflets enclosed with billings explaining treatment careers, and/
or posted on bulletin boards at public
locations; a special edition section in
the local newspaper with explanations
and photos of your facility and operators, etc. Open house events can be
potential communication links. When
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Streamline - Spring 2016
From the President: Strong
From the Executive Director: Do You Need VRWA?
Thanks for the Memories!
Future Operators: Implementing A Career
Claypool Hill: Triumph Over Adversity
Work Zone Safety Awareness: V-DOT Work Zone Traffic Control Certification
Water System Consolidation
Decline of Coal: Economic Effects on Utilities
Effectively Managing Inventory Space and Costs
VRWA Report Card
Planning Reports Funded for Three Rural Water and Waste Projects in Central Virginia
VRWA Members Corner
Throwing My Loop: A Positive Life...
Benefits for VRWA Members
Board of Directors
Index to Advertisers/Ad.com
Streamline - Spring 2016