U.S. Water Services Corporation (U.S. Water) will be taking part in the Florida Rural Water Association’s (FRWA) two year, nationally recognized water and wastewater Apprenticeship Program. The goal of this program is to help develop tomorrow’s water and wastewater workforce by providing technical, on-the-job training and learning experiences needed to become an effective and skilled operator. The program is an approved Department of Labor Federally Registered Apprenticeship Program in the state of Florida.
|Apprentices can look forward to learning and experiencing both at the job site and in the classroom settings. This apprenticeship program offers many benefits to both future operators and systems. The apprentice gets full-time employment from an established system, offering on-the-job learning. This apprentice learns about the system that employs them, picking up critical knowledge about the system assets. The apprentice also gets the chance to learn from a mentor, an operator already licensed and experienced in the utility field. This mentor can offer helpful information on how to advance within the utility industry.||
Katlyn Hice, Operator Trainee at Inverness WWTP
The instruction helps to strengthen and round out the knowledge base of the apprentice, making them more valuable employees. This training is provided by FRWA staff with assistance from our associated members and vendors to ensure the apprentices receive the highest quality training. This program includes the coursework required to receive a Class C operator’s license for water or wastewater. Since the FRWA is partnering with employers, the apprentices are also full-time employees of a water or wastewater facility. They will be working to earn the required hours for their license.
FRWA’s instructors use the equipment and cutaway models of pumps, motors, and other training devices to teach hands-on maintenance. Safety is a concern in our industry, and this program stresses the proper way to utilize personal protective equipment (PPE) and additional safety concerns that operators can encounter. In addition to the curriculum, hands-on training includes heavy machinery such as vacuum trucks, generators, and Class A CDL training for apprentices. Utility management training, emergency response, and emergency coordination training help each apprentice become a valuable resource to their employer.