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With many challenges that face our water and wastewater utility systems, ensure your employees have the knowledge base they need to prepare your system for a sustainable future.
The goal of the Apprenticeship Program is to provide employers with a sustainable, skilled workforce today and for generations to come! At ORWA we understand the importance of a knowledgeable workforce.
- Industry Specific Training
- Employee Retention
- Choice of Certification
- Reliable Employee Pipeline
Oklahoma Rural Water Association
Industry leaders in water and wastewater utilities for over 50 years
Who Can Apply?
The term of the apprenticeship is two years with on-the-job training of approximately 4,000 hours and 288 hours of formal technical instruction. An apprentice will be paid a progressively increasing schedule of wages.
- Be 18 years old or older
- Have a high school diploma or GED
- Have a valid driver’s license
- Be physically capable of performing the essential functions of the apprenticeship program
- Take and pass a drug screening test
- Pass a background check
- Attend all formal training
A US Department of Labor Registered Apprenticeship Program
We work with many partners in order to make this a valuable and feasible program for both employers and apprentices:
- Department of Labor
- Workforce Development
- Veterans Affairs
- National Rural Water Association
- Oklahoma Department of Environmental
- Oklahoma Water Resources Board
- Tribal Nations
We encourage applicants, apprentices, and employers to work closely with organizations such as workforce development and veterans affairs that may be able to assist with funding needs, employee tools, and/or safety and personal protective equipment
The first and only program designed specifically for our industry by professionals who have dedicated their careers to water and wastewater.
Within the next 10 years, our industry stands to lose 30-50% of the workforce to retirement. Employers can prepare for this loss by training the next generation of employees today!
Apprentices are able to learn from knowledgeable certified trainers, experts, and mentors at the specific utility they will be employed at. They will gain 4,000 on the job hours and 288 hours of related technical instruction.
Apprentices will be exposed to multiple existing and current technologies used within the water and wastewater industry
Our water and wastewater workforce is aging, which is where the ORWA Apprentice Program comes into play. With little to no-cost, apprentices will attend and approximate 2-year training program through ORWA. From classroom instruction and on-the-job training, apprentices are provided the tools necessary to be a successful operation specialist in your state and community.
As an apprentice, they’ll earn while they learn with knowledgeable, passionate people who strive to deliver clean drinking water to their community and treat wastewater before returning it to the environment. This program starts as a job and emerges as a solid and secure career.
Water and Wastewater Operation Specialists have a wide range of skills from computer technology to heavy machinery, from financial understanding to regulatory compliance. This profession works both indoors and outdoors and must interact and work with engineers, chemists, management staff and laboratory staff. Rural utility operators typically are responsible for management, operations, and maintenance of a system. They can also be responsible for inspecting equipment, monitoring daily activity, maintaining regular test samples, and ensure that safety standards are met by staying current on environmental laws and regulations.
When an apprentice receives their certificate of completion from the U.S. Department of Labor, the apprentice will have a wide range of career prospects across Oklahoma with no debt to repay. There will always be a need for water and wastewater professionals. The ORWA Apprenticeship Program will ensure highly skilled professionals are prepared and ready to become part of the respected rural water family prepared for a career in our great industry.
Oklahoma Rural Water Association (ORWA) will not discriminate against apprenticeship applicants or apprentices based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), sexual orientation, genetic information, or because they are an individual with a disability or a person 40 years old or older. ORWA & System-Employers will take affirmative action to provide equal opportunity in apprenticeship and will operate the apprenticeship program as required under Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations, part 30.