Newsroom & Financials

CoBank Contributes $250,000 to the National Rural Water Association

Posted 11/21/2017

CoBank announced today that it is partnering with the National Rural Water Association to underwrite a program that will target and train the next generation of technical workers needed to ensure the future operation of critical water and wastewater systems in rural communities.

The $250,000 grant from CoBank will assist the NRWA with the creation of the WaterPro Apprenticeship Program designed to address the looming shortage of experienced personnel at water systems throughout rural America. CoBank's support will be in the form of apprentice scholarships and assistance to the NRWA and state rural water associations to launch and market the program.

Though still in the early stages of development, the program will create a consistent, nationally recognized standard of training for water and wastewater professionals registered with the Department of Labor. DOL registration means greater value for program participants by ensuring the credentials are transferable to and recognized by rural water systems in the U.S. Development and roll-out of the program is expected to occur over the next two years.

"More than 80 percent of the nation's approximately 50,000 water systems serve populations of less than 10,000 people," said Tom Halverson, CoBank's president and chief executive officer. "These systems deliver a vital service to rural communities, and yet are having an increasingly difficult time finding the next generation of workers with the knowledge and expertise needed to fill technical roles. We are delighted to be partnering with the NRWA on the forefront of this initiative, and look forward to the benefits it will provide rural America." Read more...

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