California WaterWorks: Building the People Pipeline

The California WaterWorks: Building the People Pipeline is a project at Cuyamaca College to identify and train the next generation of water industry professionals who will operate and maintain the critical infrastructure that keeps our water safe and reliable. The project will develop a new "Institute for Water Studies" that embeds contextualized STEM learning opportunities in technical courses at the college. It will also work with local 7-12 math and science teachers to provide contextualized teaching modules and demonstrations of water and wastewater equipment for 7-12 students. Students at the college will assemble an above-ground water distribution system that allows them to hone their mechanical skills and gain relevant job experience in the classroom. Through these activities, the project will develop career pathways that recruit women, underrepresented students, and veterans into careers in water and wastewater management. 

As part of their effort to educate the next generation of water technicians and replace an aging workforce, the California WaterWorks project will develop new stackable certifications in water treatment, water distribution, wastewater treatment, and wastewater collection. These certificates will offer multiple entrance, multiple exit pathways aligned with industry standards and credentials. The project will also implement the ACT WorkKeys and National Career Readiness Certification materials to improve students' job readiness and soft skills. To support recruitment efforts, the project will work with ATETV to produce a series of recruitment video that target women and transitioning military personnel with STEM skills, and inform them of career opportunities in the water and wastewater management industries. The curricula, videos, and other teaching materials will be shared with other community colleges through the ATE network.

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