NGWA, in Partnership with Oklahoma State University, Launches National Campaign to Spur Growth in Groundwater Industry

Published On: February 14, 2024By Categories: Newsline, Workforce Development

NGWA, in collaboration with Oklahoma State University and the Groundwater Foundation, has launched a national campaign to bring awareness to groundwater access, education, and industry training.

At the center of the campaign is a televised public service announcement and resource-filled website that illustrate both the vitality of clean water and how populations often take it for granted.

“Our current groundwater professionals have done such a great job providing clean water to homes and municipalities across the nation that many people don’t know where their drinking water comes from. But we are experiencing a major workforce shortage in groundwater careers,” says Caitlin Barnes, Ph.D., director of NGWA University Powered by OSU.

“I’ve talked with groundwater drillers across the nation, and they all say the same thing: they can’t find anyone to run the rigs. Hopefully, this PSA will inspire people to learn more about groundwater access and showcase the many careers we need filled to provide the nation with drinking water.”

Since 2020, NGWA University Powered by OSU—a partnership between NGWA and OSU’s College of Arts and Sciences—has been addressing the predicted shortfall in groundwater industry personnel through K-12 curriculum and professional development courses. Those efforts, combined with the PSA, ask important questions while also offering solutions.

“We need to get current and future generations excited about groundwater—not only as a possible career—but for the sake of our collective health and prosperity,” says Todd Halihan, Ph.D., interim head of OSU’s Boone Pickens School of Geology. “NGWA University has started training groundwater students and professionals from around the world, but there’s a need to grow. The resources and passion for groundwater are here at OSU, so we invite everyone to come explore what makes groundwater so crucial.”

Terry Morse, CAE, CIC, the CEO of NGWA and the Groundwater Foundation, says it’s through these academic and industry partnerships that lasting changes will take place.

“We all play a part in making sure our communities have access to clean water,” Morse says. “The more we can have groundwater at the forefront of people’s minds—be that through education, professional training, or just general awareness—the greater the generational impact will be. This PSA campaign is one more example of how our organizations are leading the way in groundwater.”

Click here to watch the PSA on YouTube.

Click here to learn more about NGWA University Powered by OSU.

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