Veolia North America opens first-of-its-kind internal water and wastewater training program to anyone at no cost, helping unlock permanent jobs and build the water workforce America needs to protect the environment.
Columbus, Ohio (June 2) – Veolia North America, the leading environmental services company in the U.S. and Canada, is opening its in-house training program to the general public to support skills acquisition for Americans looking for strong, stable jobs in the water and wastewater treatment industry. Veolia Academy offers free online courses for people to learn the technical skills and prepare for the state certifications necessary for a career in the industry, which needs tens of thousands of new workers across the country to handle today’s environmental challenges.
Veolia North America first developed Veolia Academy in 2021 to prepare its own employees to move up, and already, more than 200 employees have successfully completed more than 400 courses. Veolia Academy training has been approved by 38 states, with more in the process, through each state’s licensing and regulation authorities.
“America literally cannot function without strong water and wastewater infrastructure, but a generational wave of retirements means the industry is heading toward a staffing crisis. Veolia Academy helps our own employees gain the skills necessary to move up in their careers, and by opening its doors to everyone for free, we’re helping America protect its water resources while giving Americans good paying jobs, pride and the tools to enter a great career,” said Fred Van Heems, President and CEO of Veolia North America.
“Water industry jobs are reliable, pay well, often require no more than a high school diploma, and protect the environment,” Van Heems said. “At a time when America’s water supply faces threats from newly discovered contaminants and long-term drought, Veolia North America is proud of our educational efforts to develop the workforce necessary to tackle those challenges.”
Van Heems announced the open-source Veolia Academy initiative to dozens of the nation’s mayors at the United States Conference of Mayors’ 91st Annual Meeting in Columbus. Many American cities have struggled to recruit and train the workforce for their water operations, and Veolia Academy offers mayors a free, easily accessible online tool for their own residents to fill those vital jobs close to home.
Veolia Academy is built on an online training site, academy.veolia.us, with more than 100 courses in seven Learning Paths covering the operations and maintenance of water and wastewater systems: Treating and distributing drinking water, collecting and treating wastewater, testing water quality in the lab and maintaining the complex equipment that makes it all run. The courses were developed and delivered by Veolia North America employees who are industry experts in their respective fields. Veolia Academy is partnering with vocational and technical schools to provide the curriculum necessary to prepare students to enter the water treatment workforce.
Every state requires water and wastewater workers to obtain operating licenses based on a combination of mandatory training, job experience and/or examinations. While those requirements ensure America’s water resources are in the hands of qualified operators, they can be challenging for new employees who want to advance their career.
“Veolia Academy has helped our employees improve their skills and advance their careers, and by opening that ladder to anyone who wants to work in the industry, we’re helping staff America’s water infrastructure at a crucial time for the environment,” said Karine Rougé, CEO of Municipal Water for Veolia North America. “Veolia Academy helps our employees, our customers and our communities. We’re glad we can open those benefits to everyone.”
“The training helped me prepare for and pass the Distribution Class II exam, which allowed me to get my license,” said Veolia Academy graduate Jerome McCall. “My teacher was very knowledgeable of the subject matter and had a unique skill set that allowed her to deliver the training in a way we could grasp easily. Also, the online content allowed me to study at my own pace and brush up on content I was having difficulty with.”
To explore Veolia Academy’s Learning Paths, preview course content and register for classes, visit academy.veolia.us.
Veolia Group aims to become the benchmark company for ecological transformation. Present on five continents with nearly 220,000 employees, the Group designs and deploys useful, practical solutions for the management of water, waste and energy that are contributing to a radical turnaround of the current situation. Through its three complementary activities, Veolia helps to develop access to resources, to preserve available resources and to renew them. In 2022, the Veolia group provided 111 million inhabitants with drinking water and 97 million with sanitation, produced 44 terawatt hours of energy and recovered 61 million tons of waste. Veolia Environnement (Paris Euronext: VIE) achieved consolidated revenue of 42.885 billion euros in 2022. www.veolia.com
Veolia North America
A subsidiary of Veolia group, Veolia North America (VNA) offers a full spectrum of water, waste and energy management services, including water and wastewater treatment, commercial and hazardous waste collection and disposal, energy consulting and resource recovery. VNA helps commercial, industrial, healthcare, higher education and municipality customers throughout North America. Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, Veolia North America has more than 10,000 employees working at more than 350 locations across the continent. www.veolianorthamerica.com