ZIONSVILLE – Zionsville-based 120Water has launched a Technical Assistance Program to not only provide support to clients across the country, but also give real-world experience to students. The program, launched in partnership with the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, gives graduate students the opportunity to serve as consultants for more than 90 communities. 120Water co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Megan Glover says the program was created to address several needs.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Glover said in addition to helping customers and students, the program could also help fill a talent gap.
“One of the number one issues impacting the water sector is actually the workforce. About 50% of the workforce is eligible for retirement over the next decade and so there’s active initiatives trying to get the next generation talent to see water and the water sector as an option for them. So, it’s not only great, real-life, valuable experience for the students, but we also hope that we’ll ignite some interest in the sector as a whole.”
120Water has developed a digital water testing platform used by governments, public water systems and facilities to help their drinking water and wastewater systems stay in regulatory compliance.
The first cohort of the TAP includes six students from Indiana, Utah, Virginia and Ohio. Glover says TAP students will provide data analysis and back-end support for customers. She says the ultimate goal is to “ignite the interest of the next generation of water professionals.”
“If we don’t find a way to bring talent into [the water sector], it’s going to put a lot of stress on our communities, especially when you have water operators wearing so many different hats because they can’t staff their utility appropriately,” she said.
Glover says the company is using the pilot cohort to establish a model that could potentially be replicated in additional communities nationwide.
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