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Wastewater Worker

Kentucky Water Workforce Survey

With the influx of significant federal funds being invested into water infrastructure, it is important to have qualified staff to operate, repair, and maintain Kentucky’s assets. This is an essential key to protecting the public health of Kentuckians and the natural resources of the Commonwealth. For many years, Kentucky regulators have heard that drinking water and wastewater utilities have an operator recruitment and retention problem. As a result, the Kentucky Water Workforce Survey (KWWS) was developed to gather the data needed to ascertain if there is an actual problem. Learn more about recruitment and retention issues amongst operators within Kentucky's wastewater and drinking water sector below.

About the Survey

The survey was designed to determine what barriers exist in order to recommend possible solutions to the problems identified in the data. The KWWS builds on a national report by the Brookings Institute that documents national employment concerns. The Kentucky Water Research Institute at the University of Kentucky (KWRI) designed and deployed two distinct surveys for the KWWS project in collaboration with industry and regulatory stakeholders. The KWWS targeted drinking water and wastewater operators and managers with experience at Kentucky utilities. The anonymous, online surveys generated a total of 635 responses, 415 from the operator survey and 220 from the manager survey. The KWWS included a strong, representative pool of responses that reflected diversity in terms of age, experience, utility size and type, and geographical areas.

Read the full report below: 

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