The better equipped employees are with knowledge and skills needed to carry out their jobs, the more confident and comfortable they will feel in their positions. There are a variety of utility staff training and certification opportunities throughout the country. Employees should be encouraged to identify areas of their work that they are interested in learning more about and search for an opportunity to attend a related training or workshop. Connecting with the Tribal water community allows staff to learn from their peers and often leads to ideas for improvement of local services. Below is a brief list of organizations offering operator training and certification opportunities.
- Inter Tribal Council of Arizona (ITCA) – Tribal Water Systems: This program provides training, certification and technical assistance to help build Tribal capacity in operating, maintaining and managing sustainable drinking and wastewater systems. Training and certification opportunities include: levels 1-4 water treatment and distribution, wastewater collection and treatment, and new Tribal utility management certification. Training opportunities are free of charge, although you are responsible for travel and lodging, and available to all Tribes across the country. Relevant Region: Nationwide.
- Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC) – Trainings: These trainings serve rural communities in 13 Western states and Pacific Islands. RCAC provides a variety of trainings relevant to community water systems. Trainings are offered live and online and are free of charge. Relevant Region: Targeted at small water systems in California, but trainings are open to all Tribes.
- Alaska Rural Utility Collaborative (ARUC) and Tribal Utility Support (TUS): These two utility support departments at Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium offer a two-week training course for water treatment plant operators twice per year at the AVTEC, Alaska’s Institute of Technology, campus in Seward.
- Native American Water Association (NAWA) – Training Available:This association provides unique training opportunities. Along with training for Class 1-4 water treatment and distribution, wastewater collection, and treatment and laboratories, they also provide management focused training, on-site training and offer an operator apprenticeship program. Relevant Region: Nationwide.
- Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Water – Alaska Training Coalition Calendar: This calendar includes an extensive list of trainings available to operators and water/wastewater utility managers. The trainings occur across Alaska as well as online. Relevant Region: Alaska.
- United South and Eastern Tribes (USET) – Training: This organization offers training to member Tribes on: basic water and wastewater operations, laboratory analysis and procedures, math for operators, electrical systems for treatment plants, developing Consumer Confidence Reports and more. Training opportunities are typically emailed directly to Tribes and usually occur onsite. Visit their website for contact information or to see a list of Training Opportunities for USET area Tribes. Relevant Region: USET area Tribes.