Background

In May of 2008, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and the Santa Clara Valley Water District co-sponsored a West Coast Water Utilities Workshop on Workforce Development.  Findings from this workshop contributed to a subsequent Water Research Foundation Project on potential benefits of regional collaboration; findings of this project showed that the workforce reliability challenges of Bay Area water and wastewater utilities called for a regional response.

The workforce development task force which contained representatives from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, the Santa Clara Valley Water District, East Bay Municipal Utility District, and Union Sanitary District, discovered that the workforce reliability challenges of Bay area water and wastewater utilities called for a regional response.

Therefore BAYWORK was created in June 2009. BAYWORK is open to all Bay Area water and wastewater utilities, and many have contributed to its research, workshops, and product development activities.  For example, 45 water and wastewater utilities contributed to research jointly conducted with the California community college system in 2009 on present and future labor needs in mission-critical job categories.

Today BAYWORK has twenty-eight signatories.

Charter

BAYWORK’s charter states that “the operational reliability of water and wastewater utilities depends on having both sufficient staffing in mission-critical classifications and staff who are sufficiently prepared to do their work”. Twenty-eight signatory agencies collectively have agreed to establish the Bay Area Water/Wastewater Workforce Development Collaborative (BAYWORK) and work collaboratively to achieve the following:

  • Create a unified voice for Bay Area water/wastewater agencies in workforce development plans that affect the region;
  • Develop and implement programs and  strategies that support development of  high-performance workforces;
  • Develop and implement cost-effective programs that ensure sufficient numbers of qualified prepared staff to meet our responsibilities to our customers, our communities, and the environment;
  • Build relationships with partners and stakeholders (e.g., educational institutions, the Department of Labor, and workforce development boards) to effectively implement workforce development programs;
  • Provide a forum and framework to discuss workforce development issues and hold workshops on pertinent topics; and
  • Document, coordinate, and communicate existing and planned programs and activities being implemented in the Bay Area on workforce development.
  • The signatories welcome other water/wastewater agencies in the Bay Area to participate in the Bay Area Water/Wastewater Workforce Development Collaborative.