Renewing the Water Workforce: Improving Water Infrastructure and Creating a Pipeline to Opportunity
As the U.S. economy continues to grow, many communities are struggling to translate this growth into more equitable and inclusive employment opportunities. Meanwhile, many of our infrastructure assets are in urgent need of repair or restoration, and the workers needed to carry out these efforts are in short supply. However, these two challenges offer an enormous economic opportunity: infrastructure is well positioned to offer more durable careers to a wide variety of workers.
The United States needs a new generation of skilled workers to design, construct, operate, and govern our various infrastructure systems. It falls to water utilities, workforce development partners, and local, state, and national leaders to develop a water workforce to meet ongoing demands, ideally connected to the diverse residents and communities they serve.
This webcast explored the findings of Renewing the Water Workforce: Improving Water Infrastructure and Creating a Pipeline to Opportunity, published by the Metropolitan Policy Program at The Brookings Institution. This research provides insight on the nation’s 1.7 million water workers, including data on wages, skills, and demographics. The speakers also presented actionable strategies—a new water workforce playbook—that all types of leaders can use in future hiring, training, and retention efforts.