Water-related jobs - Research
ummary of findings/recommendations from Milwaukee Water Commons report on future of jobs in water-related industries 
 
Prepared by Julie Kerksick, some info taken directly from their report prepared by UWM’s Center on Economic Development 
 
January 22, 2020 
 
Water Needs Assessment:  Pathways to Employment in a Water Centric City 
 
“The MWC engaged UWM’s Center for Economic Development (UWMCED) to conduct a Water Needs Assessment. The goal is to understand current and future conditions of the water workforce and to develop inclusive and equitable pathways to water careers. The Force is working to ensure that Milwaukee’s vulnerable communities benefit from community investments in water and water infrastructure.  
 
The objectives of the UWM study are to:  
· Delineate the water workforce job market in the Milwaukee-Waukesha-Ozaukee-Washington (MWOW) Counties.  
· Analyze constraints to local employment in the water workforce.  
· Identify best practices in comparable markets for connecting local low-income residents, immigrants, and communities of color to sustainable employment in the water workforce.  
· Develop policy recommendations that would promote the training and hiring of local community members in the area’s water workforce.” p. 5 
 
 
DEFINING THE WATER SECTOR  p. 8 
To come up with a reliable estimate of the water workforce, UWMCED relied on the definitions of the water sector found in the Brookings Institution study, Renewing the Workforce: Improving Water Infrastructure and Creating a Pipeline to Opportunity. Some modifications to the Brookings Institution methodology were made in response to suggestions from the Water Equity Task Force. Industrial data was gathered from the Bureau of Labor Statistics by NAICS Code (North American Industrial Classification System). Occupational data was gathered from BLS Occupational Employment Survey and Projections.  
 
Water-related industries  
Eight water industries were identified by the Brookings Institution. UWMCED collected data on each of these industries. Two additional industries, (Architectural, Engineering Services and Research and Development in Bio-Technology) were added based on feedback from project partners and key stakeholders. Where possible data on employment, wages, and training and employment projections were gathered. Data on water utilities was gathered directly from the utilities themselves. 
 
  • Water and Sewer Line and Related Structures Construction 
  • Other Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction 
  • Plumbing, heating and air-conditioning contractors 
  • Site preparation contractors 
  • Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services 
  • Environmental Consulting Services 
  • Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences 
  • Landscaping Services 
  • Remediation and Other Waste Management Services 
  • Utilities – Water and Sewer 
 
WATER-RELATED OCCUPATIONS  p.10 
 
The Brookings Institution found that 15 water occupations represent 2/3 of all employment in water-related occupations. UWMCED expanded the list to include 17 occupations, listed in table below.  
 
Water-related occupations (based on Standard Occupational Classification)  
  • Meter Readers,  
  • Utilities Operating Engineers and Other Construction Equipment Operators  
  • Pipelayers  
  • Helpers - Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters  
  • Septic Tank Servicers and Sewer Pipe Cleaners  
  • Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics  
  • Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators  
  • Hydrologists  
  • Landscaping and Groundskeeping Workers  
  • Environmental Scientists and Specialists