DC Water and the Water Environment Federation (WEF) on Jan. 30 announced the issuance of the first certifications under the National Green Infrastructure Certification Program (NGICP). The NGICP is designed to verify that the inaugural group of 62 certified individuals have successfully demonstrated competency in the foundational knowledge, concepts, and terminology required to perform tasks related to green infrastructure (GI) construction, inspection, and maintenance.
“We are preparing a workforce for the jobs we know are coming to support green infrastructure projects here in the District of Columbia and across the nation,” said George Hawkins, CEO and General Manager of DC Water. “Armed with the training and skills this program provides, this first group of certificants will blaze a trail that many more will follow.”
As a part of the pilot phase of the program, the NGICP administered the inaugural exam on Dec. 13, 2016. The exam, currently offered through the NGICP Partnering Organizations, tested applicants on their knowledge of GI fundamentals, construction methods, and maintenance procedures. Seven locations nationally hosted exams:
- Washington, D.C.,
- Baltimore, Md.,
- Rockville, Md.,
- Harrisburg, Pa., Pittsburgh, Pa.,
- Fairfax, Va., and
- Milwaukee, Wis.
Both the exam and the first award of certifications are major milestones for the program, which was announced as a collaborative effort between DC Water and WEF in February 2016.
Over the past year, DC Water, WEF, and a group of NGICP Partnering Organizations from across the nation have been working to develop the program structure, components, and requirements on an expedited schedule. Designed to meet international best practice standards, the certification — including a requirement for regular recertification — will
- promote a skilled green workforce,
- help streamline the process of connecting qualified talent to in-demand jobs,
- support community-based job creation in U.S. cities, and
- establish national standards for professionals seeking to work on GI projects.
Evolution of the program
Additional pilot NGICP training sessions are expected in the spring and fall of 2017 with exam dates anticipated in June and November.
Program administrators are using the results of this operational pre-test, which contains 141 questions, to create a 100-question standardized exam form that will be used for the national rollout in 2018.
“The overwhelmingly positive response and interest in the NGICP credential has confirmed the need for this certification program and industry support of this valuable and growing segment of the water sector,” said WEF Executive Director Eileen O’Neill. “Through the NGICP we have a tremendous opportunity to reach new groups of people and to promote the implementation of GI projects and a skilled green workforce for the betterment of our communities, our economy, and our environment.”
Housed under the WEF Stormwater Institute, the NGICP is being developed and implemented with the support of a growing number of utilities to help advance the program nationwide. Current NGICP Partnering Organizations include:
- the District Department of Energy and Environment (D.C.),
- Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (Wis.),
- Montgomery County (Md.),
- Kansas City Water Services Department (Mo.),
- Fairfax County (Va.),
- City of Baltimore Department of Public Works (Md.),
- Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District (Ky.),
- San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (Calif.),
- Capital Region Water (Pa.),
- Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago,
- New Orleans Delegation (La.),
- Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority,
- Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati (Ohio), and
- the Boston Water and Sewer Commission.
For more information, please visit www.ngicp.org.