National Apprenticeship Week 2021
The U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship has announced November 15 – 21, 2021 as National Apprenticeship Week (NAW). NAW is a nationwide celebration that provides apprenticeship sponsors with the opportunity to showcase their programs, facilities, and apprentices in their community.
To celebrate National Apprenticeship week this year, NRWA invites you to join us as we tip our hats to the Essential Workers of the water and wastewater industry.
We are asking all currently enrolled apprentices in each state to post a picture wearing this hat, tag NRWA and use the hashtags #BeEssential and #NAW2021. Or, please take a picture and email it to
For more information on NAW 2021, please visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s website.
The Need for Apprentices
It takes more than 380,000 highly skilled water and wastewater personnel to ensure the public supply of safe drinking water and to protect our lakes, streams and groundwater. Advancements in water treatment and supply technology have increased the skills and training required of this workforce. Water professionals are ultimately responsible for meeting stringent regulatory standards, replacing aging infrastructure, recruiting and training new operations specialists, and responding to and recovering from disasters.
In addition to increasing professional demands, utilities will soon be forced to replace many of their most experienced employees. Over the next decade, the water sector is expected to lose between 30 and 50 percent of the workforce to retirement. Many of these employees have worked at the same utility for the majority of their careers, and they will depart with decades of valuable institutional knowledge.
About the NRWA Apprenticeship Program
The NRWA Apprenticeship Program has provided the guidelines to states that lays a firm foundation for the apprentices to thrive upon completion. With little to no-cost, apprentices will attend an approximate 2-year training program through a State Association. From classroom instruction and on-the-job training, apprentices are provided the tools necessary to be a successful operation specialist in your community. During the apprenticeship program, apprentices will 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 as either a water operations specialist or wastewater operations specialist.
Are you ready to apply for an apprenticeship opportunity? Use this website to find more information, apply, or log in to the tracking system.