AWWA president announces workforce sustainability initiative
For incoming American Water Works Association (AWWA) President Mike Leonard, workforce issues in the water sector are a top priority. Leonard, water operations manager for Roswell, Ga., began his one-year term last week at the organization’s annual conference in Atlanta. During his first address as president, he announced plans for a Water Sector Workforce Sustainability Initiative, which will be a partnership with Denver-based AWWA and the Awwa Research Foundation to define and address the water industry’s challenges to developing and maintaining a qualified workforce. “This project will help the entire water sector better understand the challenges ahead of us as we face [the] reality of an aging and changing workforce,” Leonard said in his address. “It also shows that the water sector is truly committed to putting our full energy and significant resources into addressing the workforce challenges ahead of us.”
A steering committee for the project will include members of AWWA’s Ad Hoc Committee on Water Sector Workforce Strategies and other utility leaders from North America. The committee will analyze jobs that are at most risk, and propose strategies that should be implemented at the utility, regional and national levels to achieve workforce sustainability. AWWA will organize a workshop for volunteer leaders and workforce experts from other industries to review relevant research and develop a sector-wide workforce strategy.
Leonard’s other goals for the year include promoting the value of water professionals; strengthening member participation in AWWA; and strengthening the partnerships between AWWA and its sections. For more information, visit http://www.awwa.org.