Webinar Recording: Strengthening the Water Sector Workforce in Kentucky: GRADD’s Hire to Operate (H2O) Program

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Regional Development Organizations (RDOs), known locally as councils of governments, regional planning commissions, economic development districts, and other names, provide various types of assistance to their member communities in a host of service areas. During this webinar recording, learn about the Green River Area Development District’s (GRADD) Hire to Operate (H20) program, a collaboration with state and local partners to address the shortage of certified water and wastewater operators in Western Kentucky through a Registered Apprenticeship Program. The H2O Apprenticeship Program creates a pipeline of highly qualified operators for rural utilities and stable, quality careers for new entrants to the workforce, dislocated workers, and incumbent workers at minimal cost to the apprentices or local utilities.


This webinar was offered in partnership with the Environmental Finance Center Network (EFCN). The EFCN provides training about small drinking and wastewater systems and aims to assist public and private sectors through training, direct professional assistance, production of durable resources, and innovative policy ideas. To learn more about resources and training available through the EFCN, click here.

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Joe McKinney serves as Executive Director of the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO). Headquartered in Washington DC, NADO provides advocacy, education, research, and training for the nation’s 500+ regional planning and development organizations.

Joe has thirty-one years of experience having served in city, county, regional, national association, and government management since 1991. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy Analysis from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a candidate for a master’s degree in Public Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill.

McKinney has provided congressional testimony on numerous occasions regarding the importance of regional development organizations in helping shape the nation’s economic growth. He is nationally recognized for promoting innovative solutions in areas such as planning and economic development, workforce development, transportation and transit, and aging services.

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