10/21/2014 12:00 AM
COLLEGE STATION - Water and wastewater professionals are more important now than in any other time in Texas history. In 2012, Texans used over 5 trillion gallons of water, according to data from the Texas Water Development Board annual report, updated in August. The demand is ever increasing with some estimates claiming hundreds of new residents are moving to the state each day.
The men and women that make sure our water systems operate safely and efficiently need training to maintain their skills and licenses. The Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) has developed and held Water & Wastewater Training Expos around the state annually to fill this need. These three-day, intensive course deliveries are offered at a single location, with reduced tuition costs, allowing professionals to complete 20 of the 30 hours required every three years to maintain their professional license and reducing the impact to city budgets.
Training and licenses, while important, are not the only challenges faced on this front. The current workforce is rapidly approaching retirement age. At the same time, water & wastewater systems continue to expand with increasing population, agriculture and industry.
To meet the growing demand for skilled workers in this field, TEEX is proposing a program in the next legislative session that would provide training and licenses to high school students, allowing them to enter the workforce upon completion with the knowledge needed to succeed. Much of this training will focus on water loss prevention. The end results should matter; better careers for young people entering the workforce, raising their earning potential, college credit for those who choose to continue their education and helping to preserve a precious, limited resource under ever-increasing demand.
Media Opportunity - Nov. 5
Media are invited to the College Station Water Expo at the TEEX Riverside Campus on Wednesday, November 5th, between 10:30 am – 1:30 pm, for a facility tour, hands-on training demonstrations, including an opportunity to experience confined space training in the TEEX Mobile Confined Space Training Unit, and interviews with students and instructors.
About The Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service:
TEEX makes a difference by providing training, developing practical solutions and saving lives. World-renowned for its hands-on, customized training, TEEX offers a wide range of technical and skills training programs aimed at employed workers and those entering the labor force. TEEX provides training and technical assistance to people from all 50 states, five U.S. territories, the District of Columbia and more than 75 countries. TEEX is also the sponsoring agency for Texas Task Force 1.