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Rural Workforce Initiative
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The Rural Water Workforce Initiative aims to address the needs of utilities, while also helping Texans find lasting careers in a rewarding public service industry. The water and wastewater utilities of Texas are hiring, and job growth is expected to continue. Between the ongoing drought and continued population growth, the need for new workers in our industry is greater than ever.

Based on the US Environmental Protection Agency’s study dated May 17, 2017, it is projected that in the next 10 years, 37% of the water utility workers and 31% of wastewater utility workers will retire. In less than 10 years, Texas’ water and wastewater industry may lose much of its workforce as the population of professionals working at rural retail water and wastewater utilities is aging and retiring.

Careers in the water and wastewater industry in the U.S. are expected to increase 6 percent by 2024 according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2014, there were 117,000 Water and Wastewater plant and system operators. In 2024, it is projected to jump to 124,000. "Plants will also need more operators to ensure compliance with increased environmental and safety regulations. New regulations often require that plants install new systems or features that need operators to control. Although some work can be automated, plants will need skilled workers to operate increasingly complex controls and water and wastewater systems.”

The goals of the Texas Rural Water Foundation’s Rural Water Workforce Initiative are to promote the rural water industry as an attractive and accessible career path to new audiences. The Initiative will increase the industry’s visibility to current and future job seekers by acting 
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