Water treatment online training offered free to community college students
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – At a time when water problems plague urban cities like Flint, Mich., and Newark, N.J., Springfield Technical Community College is launching an online certificate training course to prepare students for careers in water treatment.
And for students enrolled in any community college across the state, the training is free of charge.
The course, called Concepts & Practices of Basic Drinking Water Treatment, begins Sept. 9 and runs through Dec. 6.
Individuals not enrolled at a community college as well as employees at water utilities can register for the class for a fee.
The Workforce Development Center at Springfield Technical Community College, the Massachusetts Water Works Association and the Springfield Water and Sewer Commission have joined together to offer the training which prepares students to take the state Board of Certification exam.
The program provides career opportunities for students who will be qualified for jobs such as water systems manager, water treatment operator and water quality technician.
Students who complete the course may choose to continue their education at STCC in fields such as engineering, urban studies, business administration and more to pursue positions such as water/wastewater engineer, civil engineer and city planner.
STCC received $30,000 from the Springfield Water and Sewer Commission to fund the development and offering of the online course.
Community college students enrolled in the 12-week course will need to attend at least one of the two five-hour micro-internships at a water treatment facility. For students not enrolled at one of the community colleges, the micro-internships are optional.
Instructor Daniel Laprade, of the Massachusetts Water Works Association, has been working in the drinking water field for more than 30 years. An instructor for the past 15 years, Laprade is a Massachusetts registered professional engineer and holds both Grade 2 Water Treatment and Distribution licenses in Massachusetts.
In the next 10 years, a third of the people who work in this industry will be retiringDaniel Laprade, course instructor
Laprade said he will ask students to complete weekly readings and submit quizzes. They also will be expected to participate in online discussions and take a mid-term and final exam.
Laprade said now is a good time to learn about water treatment, because the demand for trained employees will continue to rise as older workers leave the industry.
“In the next 10 years, a third of the people who work in this industry will be retiring,” he said. “A lot of knowledge and experience will be leaving this business soon, and we won’t have a lot of people to fill their shoes.”
Laprade added that many cities are dealing with aging infrastructure, which represents a challenge for water treatment workers.
“It’s a good industry, a very rewarding industry,” Laprade said. “But it’s challenging, as we see in the news.”
In Newark, N.J, residents over recent weeks have been using bottled water after lead was found in tap water. The city will replace old pipes that were the source of the lead problem. The crisis in Newark echoes what residents of the city of Flint, Mich., faced in recent years.
For more information and to register online, visit stcc.edu/water. Prospective students can also visit the Workforce Development Center at STCC in Building 27, room 143. To speak with someone about the class, call (413) 755-4225 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Springfield Technical Community College
Founded in 1967 and located on 35 acres of the Springfield Armory National Historic Site, STCC is a major resource for the economic vitality of Western Massachusetts. As the only technical community college in Massachusetts, STCC, a designated Hispanic Serving Institution, offers a variety of career programs unequalled in the state. STCC’s highly regarded transfer programs in business, engineering, liberal arts, science and technology continue to provide the most economical options for students pursuing a four-year degree. With an annual enrollment of about 7,000 day, evening, weekend and online students, STCC is a vibrant campus rich in diversity.
For more information about STCC, visit www.stcc.edu. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@S_T_C_C) and Instagram (@stccpics).
Jim Danko, (413) 755-4812, email@example.com