In 2008 the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and Valley Water 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.
The result was the creation of BAYWORK which was established 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.
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.” Our signatory agencies have agreed to establish the Bay Area Water/Wastewater Workforce Development Collaborative (BAYWORK) and work together to achieve the following: