City of Peoria Press Release
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Peoria Works to Develop Own Workforce
Apprentice Program Designed to Develop Qualified Workforce for the Future.
PEORIA, Ariz. (June 20, 2011) – The city of Peoria’s water and waste
department has the potential to lose more than 60 percent its employees over the
next 15 years. In anticipation of this shortage of qualified staff, the city has
developed the state’s first municipal Utility Water Operator Registered
The city worked with the Department of Commerce, Apprenticeship Office, to
develop the program to train a qualified workforce of the future. The
apprenticeship model will allow the training of water operators bringing them
from no skills to high skills.
The program includes 6,000 hours of on-the-job training, college coursework
and mandatory certifications. The first two apprentices are currently assigned
to a water treatment plant and wastewater collection site.
“Being a city utilities apprentice is an opportunity of a lifetime,” said
apprentice Anthony Nunez. “Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of dedication
needed to successfully complete this program.”
According to Water Sector Workforce Sustainability Report produced for the
Water Research Foundation in 2008, the water industry is anticipated to
experience a demand for 45 percent personnel growth rate over the coming years.
The Arizona Department of Commerce, Apprenticeship Office has approved the
city of Peoria’s program for acceptance as a “registered” program. The
Apprenticeship Office oversees the program for the U.S. Department of Labor and
by awarding registration has recognized that the program requirements meet a
standard of excellence to develop journey workers in the field of water
utilities that will be recognized throughout the state of Arizona and the United
The City of Peoria is presently working to develop additional programs for
other occupational specialties that will provide the opportunity to attract and
retain a highly qualified, highly skilled workforce to meet the municipal
demands of the future.