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Vets Continue Service Through Local Water and Wastewater Utilities
Date:11/12/2013

Washington, DC (PRWEB) November 12, 2013

With an understanding of new approaches to sustainability technologies practices that have become pervasive throughout the branches of the military, veterans have become a valuable resource for the water sector - as employees, as contractors and entrepreneurs, as board members.

For many veterans, leaving the armed services provides opportunities for continued service to their country through their water and wastewater utilities.

During November – which is Warrior Care Month - Water Citizen News takes a look at the many ways in which veterans continue to serve in the Water Community.

A Call to Service in the Water Workforce

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, more than one-third of all current water operators are eligible to retire within seven years and employment for water and wastewater operators is expected to grow by 20 percent between 2008 and 2018 - faster than the national average for all other occupations.

To address both the need for "water workforce development" and for jobs for returning veterans (more than 16,000/year expected over the next five years), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program launched a joint initiative in 2012 to connect veterans with disabilities to career opportunities in the water and wastewater sectors -- such as at wastewater plants and drinking water facilities -- as part of EPA’s Water Sector Workforce Initiative.

The agreement allows EPA and VA to connect qualified veteran employees with staffing needs at water and wastewater utilities. EPA and the VA will work with water utilities, states and local VA counselors to promote water sector careers and resources for find
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