Renewing the Water Work Force

Renewing the Water Work Force: Improving Water Infrastructure and Creating a Pipeline to Opportunity

This Brookings Institute report provides an in-depth exploration of the water workforce to uncover the accessible, well-paying opportunities in water sector. Key findings include:

  1. Water occupations not only tend to pay more on average compared to all occupations nationally, but also pay up to 50 percent more to workers at lower ends of the income scale.
  2. In 2016, nearly 1.7 million workers were directly involved in designing, constructing, operating, and governing U.S. water infrastructure, spanning a variety of industries and regions.
  3. Most water workers have less formal education, including 53 percent having a high school diploma or less. Instead, they
    require more extensive on-the-job training and familiarity with a variety of tools and technologies.
  4. Water workers tend to be older and lack gender and racial diversity in certain occupations; in 2016, nearly 85 percent of them were male and two-thirds were white, pointing to a need for younger, more diverse talent.

Based on these findings and dozens of conversations with utility leaders and other workforce groups, the report lays out a new water workforce playbook for public, private, and civic partners to use in future hiring, training, and retention efforts.

Click the link below to download the full report.


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