[USC02] 42 USC 300j-19e: Water infrastructure and workforce investment
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42 USC 300j-19e: Water infrastructure and workforce investment Text contains those laws in effect on July 2, 2020

§300j–19e. Water infrastructure and workforce investment

(a) Sense of Congress

It is the sense of Congress that-

(1) water and wastewater utilities provide a unique opportunity for access to stable, high-quality careers;

(2) as water and wastewater utilities make critical investments in infrastructure, water and wastewater utilities can invest in the development of local workers and local small businesses to strengthen communities and ensure a strong pipeline of skilled and diverse workers for today and tomorrow; and

(3) to further the goal of ensuring a strong pipeline of skilled and diverse workers in the water and wastewater utilities sector, Congress urges-

(A) increased collaboration among Federal, State, and local governments; and

(B) institutions of higher education, apprentice programs, high schools, and other community-based organizations to align workforce training programs and community resources with water and wastewater utilities to accelerate career pipelines and provide access to workforce opportunities.

(b) Innovative water infrastructure workforce development program

(1) Grants authorized

The Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (referred to in this section as the "Administrator"), in consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture, shall establish a competitive grant program-

(A) to assist the development and utilization of innovative activities relating to workforce development and career opportunities in the water utility sector; and

(B) to expand public awareness about water utilities and connect individuals to careers in the water utility sector.

(2) Selection of grant recipients

In awarding grants under paragraph (1), the Administrator shall, to the extent practicable, select nonprofit professional or service organizations, labor organizations, community colleges, institutions of higher education, or other training and educational institutions-

(A) that have qualifications and experience-

(i) in the development of training programs and curricula relevant to workforce needs of water utilities;

(ii) working in cooperation with water utilities; or

(iii) developing public education materials appropriate for communicating with groups of different ages and educational backgrounds; and

(B) that will address the human resources and workforce needs of water utilities that-

(i) are geographically diverse;

(ii) are of varying sizes; and

(iii) serve urban, suburban, and rural populations.

(3) Use of funds

Grants awarded under paragraph (1) may be used for activities such as-

(A) targeted internship, apprenticeship, pre-apprenticeship, and post-secondary bridge programs for skilled water utility trades that provide-

(i) on-the-job training;

(ii) skills development;

(iii) test preparation for skilled trade apprenticeships;

(iv) advance training in the water utility sector relating to construction, utility operations, treatment and distribution, green infrastructure, customer service, maintenance, and engineering; or

(v) other support services to facilitate post-secondary success;

(B) education programs designed for elementary, secondary, and higher education students that-

(i) inform people about the role of water and wastewater utilities in their communities;

(ii) increase the awareness of career opportunities and exposure of students to water utility careers through various work-based learning opportunities inside and outside the classroom; and

(iii) connect students to career pathways related to water utilities;

(C) regional industry and workforce development collaborations to address water utility employment needs and coordinate candidate development, particularly in areas of high unemployment or for water utilities with a high proportion of retirement eligible employees;

(D) integrated learning laboratories in secondary educational institutions that provide students with-

(i) hands-on, contextualized learning opportunities;

(ii) dual enrollment credit for post-secondary education and training programs; and

(iii) direct connection to industry employers; and

(E) leadership development, occupational training, mentoring, or cross-training programs that ensure that incumbent water and waste water utilities workers are prepared for higher level supervisory or management-level positions.

(4) Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this subsection $1,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2019 and 2020.

( Pub. L. 115–270, title IV, §4304, Oct. 23, 2018, 132 Stat. 3882 .)


Section enacted as part of the America's Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, and not as part of the Public Health Service Act which comprises this chapter.