September 11, 2013
In response to the growing demand for water industry professionals, Milwaukee Area Technical College, Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board and The Water Council jointly collaborated to develop a water technician certificate that is being offered at MATC.
The certificate will accelerate the growth of stackable credentials in the water and enhance talent development for aspiring professionals.
“Having a strong educational foundation for future professionals is essential for the continued growth of this industry. MATC is committed to providing the education and training area residents need to secure employment in water careers,” said MATC President Dr. Michael L. Burke. “Milwaukee has taken the international lead in water initiatives. I appreciate the insight of leaders from the Water Council and Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board who were instrumental in the development of the certificate.”
Members of The Water Council, which strives to align the regional freshwater research community and water-related industries; while establishing southeast Wisconsin as the World Water Hub for freshwater research, economic development, and education; were instrumental in identifying the foundational skills necessary for careers in the water industry sector. Working closely with industry representatives helps ensure students are receiving the requisite education and training to successfully enter the workforce upon completion of this certificate.
“The bottom line is that this significant step only occurred because there was a strong commitment in collaboration between industry, education and workforce,” said Dean Amhaus, President and CEO of The Water Council. “Leveraging a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor; the Water Technician Certificate occurred because the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board and Milwaukee Area Technical College, as well as Waukesha County Technical College and Gateway Technical College understood that their strength was through a partnership.”
The Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board was awarded a $1 million grant from the Department of Labor as part of the Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge. This grant provides funding for job seekers to take advantage of training and get practical experience through internships with employers. This partnership will continue to collaborate to build a strong workforce pipeline for the water industry. The development of the Water Technician Certificate was supported with funds through the US Department of Labor by a Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge Grant to the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board.
“MAWIB recognizes the water industry is a fast growing sector with significant career opportunities. The collaboration between MAWIB, MATC and The Water Council presents a great opportunity to create a career pathway in the Water Sector,” said MAWIB President and CEO Donald Sykes. “Together, we worked with more than 50 water-related industry employers for input as to the fundamental skills needed to enter into water industry jobs. We are pleased that this industry-recognized credential, in one of the most promising employment sectors, will serve as a foundation to water industry careers.”