WEF, DC Water partner for training & certification program
The Water Environment Federation (WEF) and DC Water announced that 46 individuals recently completed a new job program that provides training and certification in construction, inspection and maintenance of green infrastructure, a fast-growing approach to reduce storm water pollution.
More than 100 individuals in Baltimore, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, and Washington have now completed the training and earned certifications under the National Green Infrastructure Certification Program (NGICP) in 2017.
Over the past year, WEF, DC Water and a group of municipal partners from across the nation have been working to develop the NGICP. Designed to meet international best practice standards, the certification will promote a skilled green workforce, help streamline the process of connecting qualified talent to in-demand jobs, support community-based job creation in U.S. cities, and establish national standards for professionals seeking to work on green infrastructure projects. Green infrastructure is an approach to storm water management that mimics the natural water cycle and can include green roofs, pervious pavement, rain gardens, rain barrels and other approaches.
“The overwhelming interest in the National Green Infrastructure Certification Program has confirmed the need to train people to work in this growing segment of the water sector,” said WEF Executive Director Eileen O’Neill. “Through the program we have a tremendous opportunity to promote the implementation of green infrastructure projects and develop a skilled workforce for the betterment of our communities, economy, and environment.”
The NGICP is intended to verify that all trainees have a standard set of skills and abilities, which will make those workers more valuable and marketable if they choose to work in other parts of the country. Additional pilot NGICP training will be held in fall 2017 with exams in November and the program is projected to roll out nationally in 2018.
“We are preparing a workforce for the jobs we know are coming to support green infrastructure projects here in the District of Columbia and across the nation,” said George Hawkins, CEO and general manager of DC Water. “Armed with the training and skills this program provides, these certificants will blaze a trail that many more will follow.”
Housed under WEF’s Stormwater Institute, the NGICP is being developed and implemented with the support of a growing number of utilities to help advance the program nationwide. Current NGICP Partnering Organizations include the Boston Water and Sewer Commission (Mass.), Capital Region Water (Pa.), City of Baltimore Department of Public Works (Md.), Fairfax County (Va.), Kansas City Water Services Department (Mo.), Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District (Ky.), Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati (Ohio), Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (Ill.), Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (Wis.), Montgomery County (Md.), New Orleans Delegation (La.), New York City Department of Environmental Protection, Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (Pa.), and San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (Calif.).