EPA has announced $20 million in grants geared towards creating career opportunities in water infastructure. 

“Our Innovative Water Infrastructure Workforce Development Grant Program supports local programs that help people get the training they need to enter the water workforce or the necessary upskilling to advance in their careers,” EPA Administrator for Water Radhika Fox said in a press release.

The primary focus of the program is to develop a well-rounded pool of skilled and diverse professionals in the water and wastewater utilities sector. The grant program is supposed to promote collaboration among federal, state, and local governments, higher education institutions, apprentice programs, labor organizations, high schools, and other community-based entities to create pathways to workforce opportunities and develop career pipelines within the water sector. 

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The water industry is faced with a shortage of qualified workers due to anticipated retirements, essential infrastructure investments, and the demand for new technical and scientific proficiencies needed to operate and maintain these systems.

Current projections indicate that as many as one-third of water workers will be eligible for retirement within the next 5-10 years.

All applications must be submitted to EPA by Nov. 17.

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