NMCC announces funding for 16 training grants in water treatment


Northern Maine Community College has received full scholarship funding for 16 students in the Drinking Water or Wastewater Treatment certificate programs and the college is beginning to recruit people who wish to advance their careers in these fields. Funding and the program are offered in conjunction with the Maine Apprenticeship Program through the Department of Labor. NMCC’s certification as a recognized apprenticeship program was announced on July 16 by Maine Labor Commissioner Laura Fortman.

“Maine’s water and sanitation facilities are in need of a skilled workforce, and this generous funding from the Maine Community College System is helping to fill that workforce gap by developing new employees into 2nd and 3rd grade operators and potential leadership roles in the Industry to be prepared. “Said Edward Wright, Human Resources Development Coordinator at NMCC.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics states the average annual salary of wastewater treatment plant and systems operators is $ 51,890; However, a 2015 report by the Ministry of the Environment warned of a shortage of younger operators as nearly two-thirds of sewage and drinking water operators are approaching retirement age.

“In 2018, NMCC launched the water treatment technology program in response to the needs of the industry. Maine has significant hiring needs in this area as a high percentage of the workforce will retire within 5 to 8 years, ”said Wright. “It’s a rewarding, high-wage career path. Water is one of Maine’s oldest resources, and professionals in the field are becoming administrators who have a tremendous impact on the environment. ”

The Maine Apprenticeship Program helps establish structured, yet flexible, training programs that are tailored to the specific needs of Maine employers through on-the-job learning and instruction. The Maine Apprenticeship program is a federally recognized training structure that includes supervision, skills review, and between 2,000 and 4,000 man hours earned in the pursuit of their graduation.

The opportunity is offered on both the NMCC Presque Isle campus and the SMCC South Portland campus, where the college opened a satellite facility in 2020. Each certificate is a nine month curriculum with instruction, laboratory work, and on-the-job apprenticeship training. Candidates for the apprenticeship program should already work in the water treatment industry and aim for a Grade 2 or 3 license.

For more information on NMCC’s water treatment technology program in Presque Isle or South Portland, please visit nmcc.edu. To learn more about enrolling in the water treatment curriculum, contact Wright at 207-760-1197 or email [email protected]

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