For many small communities, it can be difficult to find and keep certified operators, and this can lead to issues with water and wastewater treatment for those communities. A recent article in the Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine revealed that almost half of municipal water and wastewater treatment systems do not have qualified operators. Chris McCue, President & CEO of McCue Engineering Contractors (“McCue”), a water treatment design & construction company based in Delta, British Columbia discusses the Training Indigenous People (“TIPs”) program as a possible solution to this problem:
“We developed the TIPs program because of the potential difficulty of finding operators in small indigenous communities. Bringing in people from outside can be risky because they are not tied to the community and are more likely to move on. It makes sense to train local people who have roots in the community and want to work where they live. We offer people training, give them experience, and then help them get certified.”
The TIPs program is designed to be a joint effort involving the resource industry and indigenous communities located near resource projects. It is a way for industry to give back to communities near their resources projects in a way that provides long lasting help for the community in the form of both clean water and technical job opportunities.
“Resource companies understand the importance of developing trusting, meaningful relationships with indigenous communities based on shared values. Through this program, companies will create full time, permanent, technical positions, providing an opportunity for indigenous people to work in or near their home communities, while taking an active role in the protection of the environment.”
McCue also offers auditing and repair of existing water treatment systems and entirely new systems to help communities get off boil water advisories.
“Government needs a solution for indigenous communities with drinking water advisories, and one hurdle is finding qualified personnel who can operate water treatment systems.”
TIPs helps resource companies develop certified operators for drinking water and sewage systems in the indigenous communities that need them. Through the program, successful candidates can leverage the experience they have gained in industry to pursue further training and take this expertise back to their communities.
For more information on TIPs, please contact us via email at [email protected]