Headwaters exposes students to careers in water industry
Milwaukee Public Schools and partners have collaborated and designed a project called Headwaters, which exposes young people in the Milwaukee 7 county region to water industry related learning and work experiences. The program is funded by the WIRED (Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development) Innovation Fund.
Along with Milwaukee Public Schools, primary partners include Milwaukee Community Service Corps (MCSC) and Engineers and Scientists of Milwaukee (ESM).
Curriculum development began in November 2009 with an exhaustive search of existing material. Milwaukee Area Technical College, Milwaukee School of Engineering and the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewer District will approve the curriculum, training and employment pathway model before it is presented to the Water Council in mid April. The University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee helped partners understand what skills and knowledge are necessary in the water sector and helped focus the curriculum on real world needs.
The curriculum is scheduled for completion on April 30, 2010. Four specific curriculum models have been developed, including one to two-week units for high school students related to water treatment. Each unit includes a communication outcome, future impact thinking and a real-world application connection.
Along with curriculum, Headwaters is also incorporating student employment and training into the program. Milwaukee Community Service Corps has begun linking students to work experiences in fields critical for water sector occupations. To date, 10 students have been placed in a new Ozaukee County Fish Management project. In April, other water-cycle application projects will begin.
Students may also become eligible for summer job placement and additional environmental employment training such as Energy Efficiency Auditing, Water Action Mobilization, Sampling & Solutions and optional Forklift Training. Students will prepare to take and pass the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) General Wastewater Introduction Exam, the entry point for individuals in the industry.
For additional information regarding Headwaters, please contact: Lauren Baker, coordinator – Career & Technical Educationbakerlc@milwaukee. k12.wi.us (414) 475.8060.