Training the Next Generation of Wastewater Treatment Operators
The City is taking a leadership role in training the next generation of wastewater treatment operators. A few years ago Hayward's Water Pollution Control Facility (WPCF), among many Bay Area plants, realized an acute shortage of qualified candidates to operate its technologically advanced treatment plant. To address this need, the City decided to re-instate the Operator-In-Training (OIT) program. Re-instating the OIT program has proven to be an effective way for the WPCF to develop its own qualified plant staff. Within a year’s time, all of the OITs have taken exams above the minimum required by the state.
Moreover, WPCF staff has taken an active role in preparing individuals for the water and wastewater industry. Ray Busch, WPCF Manager, teaches the Modern Wastewater Treatment Plant Operations Program at Castro Valley Career and Adult Education. On June 8, the WPCF hosted one of the program’s classes. Jason Meyer, Lead Operator of twentytwo years, shared his experiences and led the students in a tour of the facilities. Students were engaged and enjoyed hearing from a highly experienced Lead Operator who has a genuine passion for this field.
Utilities and Environmental Services Department is currently in the process of recruiting and hiring a new crop of OITs to prepare them to be the next operator lead operators, and management staff at the City’s WPCF.