Everyone involved with the water and wastewater industry knows that the playing field has changed considerably in recent years. Where Operators and Plant Managers were once accustomed to pens, paper, and clipboards, they are now increasingly making use of technology. Where they once manually adjusted controls systems, SCADA has now intervened, and where little education was once required, greater levels of education and training are now essential.
This reality of higher-level requirements around Operator and Plant Manager roles is happening in the midst of a rapidly aging workforce. As noted in the August 2012 issue of the American Water Works Association Journal, the Water Research Foundation’s 2010 Water Sector Workforce Sustainability Initiative Report estimated that between 30 and 50 percent of the workforce could retire within the next ten years.
With fewer players and heightened requirements around performing the work, a staffing and succession planning strategy is essential to safeguard the future of utilities. This presentation highlights five essential steps for staffing treatment facilities, with examples illustrating the benefits of taking these five steps.