Water and Wastewater Plant Operators in Demand | VideoJennifer Joas | 7/16/2012
And that is just what BSC did.
Plants are short operators statewide, and Bismarck State is trying to find a solution. The Energy Center created an nine month online program to train water and wastewater operators.
"I am excited because it is a great career field. It is a wonderful opportunity for people from all walks of life, all ages. It is not heavily physical, so even older people can actually start a new career," said Energy Technology Assistant Professor Joan Mapel.
Industry leaders contacted BSC to provide the training.
"The workforce is aging and ready to retire, and there is not enough young people aware of job openings and that have had any training and are actually applying for them. So it is a huge need," said Mapel.
In addition to aging workers, the booming population in the west is calling for plants to expand.
"We were very fortunate to be able to hire two young people out of the BSC training system, and we will need more as time goes on," said Joe LaFave, ND Rural Water Treasurer.
This is an online course, so BSC created a virtual water and wastewater facility for students to learn from.
"We can isolate pieces of equipment and tear them apart and show how they work," said Darin Unterseher, BSC Graphics Designer and Developer.
The program will begin this fall. The training requires completion of 30 credits. Students will then receive a certificate to begin entry level work at a plant. Log onto the BSC website for more information at energy.bismarckstate.edu.