CMUA receives $4 million grant for workforce development
Tuesday, January 24, 2023
Section: CMUA News

CMUA has been awarded $4 million from the California Workforce Development Board's High Road Training Partnership Grant Program to implement the new California Water, Wastewater, and Energy Workforce Development Program.

The grant will develop a statewide workforce development program focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion resulting in trained workers who will secure jobs in the POU, water and wastewater industry throughout California. The Program will create a workforce pipeline for underrepresented populations and stable industry partnerships to ensure ongoing placement of trained workers in industry jobs, which are high quality and well-paid with great benefits and opportunities for advancement.

There are three major components of the Program, all of which will positively impact CMUA members:
Literature Review and Supplemental Needs Assessment
CMUA will facilitate a literature review of existing and planned workforce surveys to determine if additional work is needed to serve members' needs and establish a solid foundation for implementing the Program.

Develop, Pilot, and Implement Regional Consortium
Based on the needs assessment and a separate evaluation of other factors that would support success, one area in California will be selected for a regional consortium (similar to BAYWORK) that connects CMUA members to workers, community colleges and universities and other interested parties. We also will work with the Workforce Development Board in the selected region to run a pilot program supporting new entrants into the industry, particularly from underserved communities.

Statewide Activities
The Program also will include statewide activities benefitting members, including:
  • materials members can use for outreach and awareness of the industry;
  • best workforce development practices for industry utilities; and
  • grants for training at partner organizations and other stakeholders with existing training programs.

We will discuss with the Workforce Development Board how CMUA members can access grant funds directly. Still, there is significant funding for existing training organizations to expand their efforts and ensure additional trained workers are available for hire by member utilities.

CMUA's next step is to hire grant administration/project management staff. We have issued an RFP that is available at The deadline is February 17. Please feel free to forward it to your networks.

CMUA will collaborate with a large coalition of trade associations, nonprofits, and vocational organizations to implement the elements of the grant:

California African American Water Education Foundation (CAAWEF)
Water Education for Latino Leaders (WELL)
Jewish Vocational Services (JVS)
California Special Districts Association (CSDA)
California Water Association (CWA)
Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA)
California Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA)
Contra Costa Water District
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD)
Water Energy Education Alliance (WEEA)
California Nevada Section of American Water Works Association (CA-NV AWWA)