On January 30, 2017, DC Water and the Water Environment Federation (WEF) 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 certificants 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 inaugural NGICP exam was administered on December 13, 2016 at seven locations nationally: Washington, DC, Baltimore, MD, Rockville, MD, Harrisburg, PA, Pittsburgh, PA, Fairfax, VA, and Milwaukee, WI. 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 re-certification—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.
The exam, currently offered through the NGICP Partnering Organizations, tested applicants on their knowledge of GI fundamentals, construction methods, and maintenance procedures. 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 (Ill.), New Orleans Delegation (La.), Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (Pa.), Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati (Ohio), and the Boston Water and Sewer Commission (Mass.).
About DC Water:
The District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water), is an industry leading multi-jurisdictional regional utility that provides drinking water, wastewater collection and treatment to 681,000 residential, commercial and governmental customers in the District of Columbia, 17.8 million annual visitors and also collects and treats wastewater for 1.6 million customers in Montgomery and Prince Georges counties in Maryland and Fairfax and Loudoun counties in Virginia.
The Water Environment Federation (WEF) is a not-for-profit technical and educational organization of 33,000 individual members and 75 affiliated Member Associations representing water quality professionals around the world. Since 1928, WEF and its members have protected public health and the environment. As a global water sector leader, our mission is to connect water professionals; enrich the expertise of water professionals; increase the awareness of the impact and value of water; and provide a platform for water sector innovation.