Community organizers come together to recruit citizens for need of water operators

The coalition is looking for secondary and postsecondary students to fill positions.
Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 7:07 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Local water department leaders say they are in need of operators because there are 100 vacancies and those on the front lines are soon retiring. There’s a need to fill the positions soon. Water operators help provide clean and safe water for everyday use.

“No water is not good so no operator, no water. We need operators,” Plant Administrator Chuck Campbell said.

The Water Workforce Coalition including the City of Toledo, Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments, and Owens Community College have been awarded a nearly $500,000 grant. The funds help those interested enroll in a 16-week course at Owens Community College to gain those skills to have a career in this field. The courses consist of in-class and hands-on learning to actively work on those skills.

The Director of Public Utilities, Ed Moore, says that a career in water will provide a flexible schedule, decent wages and mentoring. Local water operator, Tom McGain has benefited from that mentoring and has been able to move up in the ranks to manage a plant. McGrain says his career in water is rewarding.

“This job has provided great opportunities for myself and my family. It’s just it is very rewarding to provide safe drinking water for communities,” McGrain said.

The coalition is looking for secondary and post-secondary students, those coming back into the workforce, current water and waste workers who want a change, and veterans to become operators.

For more information visit the link here. The first recruitment event will be on September 25th at Owens Community College at 12:30 pm