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Workforce Sustainability: An Update from the WEF Task Force

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Recognizing that workforce sustainability is of vital importance to WEF, in May 2008 WEF President Adam Zabinski formed the WEF Task Force on Workforce Sustainability whose charge included inventorying workforce sustainability activities of WEF committees, Member Associations, and other organizations within and outside the water industry. The Task Force was also given the charge of proposing prioritized workforce sustainability activities for WEF based on the needs of its members.

The Task Force submitted its Final Report to the WEF Board of Trustees in October, 2008. This report identified the following seven prioritized areas of opportunity for WEF to consider as it moves forward to strategically address workforce sustainability:

Organizational Structure


Continue Existing Programs


Information Access


Public Recognition/Education


Training and Education Support


Organizational Collaboration


Professional Recognition


Since the Final Report, WEF has continued to move forward to address workforce sustainability including collaborating with the American Water Works Association (AWWA) by forming a joint AWWNWEF ad hoc working group in 2009. The focus of this working group is to develop recommendations related to sharing of best practices and common messaging on careers and career pathways. In addition, WEF staff has recommended that a new website be developed that includes career related materials targeted towards high school students, guidance counselors or educators that identify the water field as an eco-friendly career that makes a positive difference on the environment and human health.
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Keywords: employee development; labor shortage; workforce planning; workforce sustainability

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2009

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