A press release from RAIN.
This week Tacoma based biotech incubator, RAIN completed the first iteration of the Waterversity training program. The program focuses on creating “career pathways, enhancing quality of life, providing essential skills, and promoting environmental justice for BIPOC and other underserved communities,” says RAIN founder Dr. David Hirschberg.
“Employment of water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators is projected to decline 3 percent from 2020 to 2030,” and “about 10,500 openings for water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators are projected each year, on average, over the decade.” according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to Pierce County Planning and Public Works, this is also a problem that will be felt right here at home, they say that within the next five years we can expect to have a plethora of job openings due to retirements and sweet system expansion. The Water Systems sector is facing a shortage of skilled Water Operations Professionals. RAIN intends to fill this shortfall.
‘Our goal with Waterversity is to empower those who are looking for a career shift or entering the workforce with living wage skilled jobs,” said Tenley Cederstrand of RAIN.
Graduates of the 30-hour course will be recognized as ‘Operators in Training’ in the Wastewater Treatment field and will learn biochemical treatment basics across water treatment fields.
The not-for-profit has been working to continue to expand educational offerings after a string of successful COVID community screening initiatives over the last year. In addition to the Waterversity program, and key training in biotech career opportunities, RAIN also boasts a summer bioengineering camp and participation in iGEM, a worldwide synthetic biology competition and resources for elementary science education.
*Waterversity has been certified by the Washington State Dept. of Ecology. Graduates will achieve the Association of Boards of Certification benchmark for competency in 28 states.