ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The Water Environment Federation (WEF) has nationally launched a jobs program that provides training and certification in the field of green infrastructure, a fast-growing approach used to reduce stormwater pollution and revitalize communities.
The National Green Infrastructure Certification Program (NGICP) is available nationwide after development of the program by WEF and co-founder DC Water, along with 14 other water utilities, which led to the initial certification of more than 250 individuals, many of whom have secured permanent employment in the field.
NGICP establishes national requirements for working on green infrastructure projects, promotes a skilled green workforce, streamlines the process of connecting qualified talent to in-demand jobs, and supports community-based job creation in U.S. cities. The nationwide launch of NGICP offers opportunities to become a certified individual, program partner, trainer, supporter of certifications, and sponsor. NGICP also seeks to work with philanthropic groups to reach under-represented members of the workforce and rural communities.
The first national training course was held in Alexandria, Va. in March and more tests were recently held after trainings in Milwaukee, New Orleans, and Peoria, Ill. Additional trainings are scheduled for Atlanta on April 30-May 4 and Southern California on June 11-15.
“The overwhelming interest in the National Green Infrastructure Certification Program has confirmed the need to train people to work in this growing segment of the water sector,” said WEF Executive Director Eileen O’Neill. “Through the program we have a tremendous opportunity to promote the implementation of green infrastructure projects and develop a skilled workforce for the betterment of our communities, economy, and environment.”
WEF has named Adriana Caldarelli as director of NGICP. She comes to WEF after 17 years with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection working in various water quality-related programs, including wastewater management planning and combined sewer outfall permitting. Much of her work has been focused on green infrastructure and she worked in the state’s stormwater management program developing design and performance standards.
In recent years, the water sector has used green infrastructure as a critical component to comprehensive stormwater management, either through regulatory drivers such as long-term control plans, municipal separate storm sewer system permits and consent decrees, or as part of a planned broader voluntary strategy. While green infrastructure offers many environmental, societal, and economic advantages, these benefits can be attained only through the proper installation and ongoing maintenance of systems by skilled workers.
“The national launch of the National Green Infrastructure Certification Program is a realization of the work and dedication of WEF, DC Water, and our partners to develop a sustainable program that provides the rigor of a national credential but with local implementation flexibility” said DC Water’s Interim CEO and General Manager Henderson J. Brown, IV. “We couldn’t be prouder of the impact we are making locally by bringing jobs to our community.”
The opportunities to become directly involved in NGICP include:
• Partner: Water utilities, cities, counties, and related jurisdictions can become partners and take advantage of numerous benefits including exclusive cost savings on the certification program.
• Certification: Individuals interested in becoming certified can find out more about the program and register for training and the exam by visiting http://ngicp.org/program/for-applicants/. Entities interested in supporting a large group of people to become certified can capitalize on savings by investing in tiered packages.
• Trainer: Train-the-Trainer Workshops provide critical training skills and introduces practitioners to the best practice training techniques. This allows entities to provide the prerequisite exam training.
• Sponsorship: Allies like architectural and engineering firms, construction management and construction firms, government organizations, foundations and non-profit organizations, and workforce development advocacy groups can sponsor the program to support WEF’s certification efforts.
Along with DC Water, current NGICP partners include the Boston Water and Sewer Commission (Mass.), Capital Region Water (Pa.), City of Baltimore Department of Public Works (Md.), Fairfax County (Va.), Kansas City Water Services Department (Mo.), Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District (Ky.), Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati (Ohio), Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (Ill.), Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (Wis.), Montgomery County (Md.), New Orleans Delegation (La.), New York City Department of Environmental Protection, Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (Pa.), and San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (Calif.).
For more information, visit www.ngicp.org