On May 10, 2024 we were joined by Joy Moore (mother of Gov. Wes Moore) at the Dorchester County Public Schools Apprenticeship Networking Event to show her support for apprenticeships.  L-R: Patty Shreves (Maryland Apprenticeship Coordinator), Joy Moore, Jackie Trieu (Maryland Dept of Labor Apprenticeship Navigator) and Shay Lewis-Sisco (Dorchester County Career Counselor.)

About the Program:

Water and Wastewater Operations Specialists are imperative to our community for access to clean drinking water and to ensure wastewater effluent is returned to the environment properly. But with close to 50% retiring in the next five years, communities will fail to prosper or eventually even exist if replacements aren’t put in place AND properly trained. A growing population and increased demand for water and wastewater treatment services plus an aging workforce will drive employment growth and qualified, certified Operators will be in high demand.

As part of the National Rural Water Apprenticeship Program, our federally-registered program has been developed in response to the industry’s need to train the next generation of skilled workers and standardize training across the state of Maryland. This 2-year program is designed to train operators through both coursework and on-the-job, experience-based learning and will culminate in MDE certification.

Apprentice Benefits:

  • Earn While You Learn
  • Make A Real Difference In The Community
  • Gain Practical Skills You Can Take Anywhere
  • Train Alongside An Experienced Technician (2 year program)
  • Every community is required to have a certified water / wastewater operations specialist
  • Stable / Non-fluctuating Industry

Utility Benefits:

  • Proven solution to recruit, train, & retain employees
  • Replace retiring workforce
  • Transfer knowledge from experienced technicians to new apprentice
  • 2 years of hands-on training alongside an experienced technician
  • Build a relationship with the apprentice
  • Ensure well-rounded, highly trained employee is produced

Program Updates:

Hawkins, Inc. Apprenticeship Scholarship:  Our thanks to Hawkins, Inc., a long-time supporter of our industry, for a generous scholarship that was specifically created to support smaller utility systems that may otherwise be unable to participate in apprenticeships.  We are pleased to announce that the towns of Grantsville and Berlin have received funding from this scholarship to help defray training costs related to Apprenticeship.

How You or Your System Can Participate:

Contact our Apprenticeship Development Coordinator below to discuss how your system can serve as an Apprenticeship host, or how you can sign up as an Apprentice:

Patty Shreves
Apprenticeship Development Coordinator

Questions? Schedule a meeting with Patty.

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY PLEDGE – 29 CFR §§ 29.5(b)(21) and 30.3(c) 

The Maryland Rural Water Association will not discriminate against apprenticeship applicants or apprentices based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), sexual orientation, genetic information, or because they are an individual with a disability or a person 40 years old or older. The Maryland Rural Water Association will take affirmative action to provide equal opportunity in apprenticeship and will operate the apprenticeship program as required under Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations, part 30, as amended, and the Maryland State Plan for Equal Employment Opportunity in Apprenticeship and Training.

Those of us in the Water and Wastewater industry are sure to be aware of the many workforce challenges that we face together as an industry. Our industry is slated to lose between 30-50% of our workforce this decade. NRWA asks that you join us by signing the pledge below, in a national effort and campaign that focuses on the positive benefits of building a more diverse workforce.

Please take the pledge here:  https://nrwa.org/nrwa-pledge/