Operators Accumulate Skills at the University of Hawai’i in Maui

August 29, 2016

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Current and aspiring water sector operators can participate in a training program at the Sustainable Living Institute of Maui (Kahului, Hawai'i). Photo courtesy of the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College (Kahului).

Current and aspiring water sector operators can participate in a training program at the Sustainable Living Institute of Maui (Kahului, Hawaiʻi). Photo courtesy of the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College (Kahului).

For someone interested in joining the next generation of water stewards, there are few places to start more exotic than Hawaii. And demand for water and wastewater professionals is particularly high in the state.

The Sustainable Living Institute of Maui at the University of Hawai’i Maui College (Kahului) offers a 3-month training program for current and aspiring water- and wastewater-treatment facility operators.

 Students who earned certificates for competing spring 2016 semester of the Sustainable Living Institue of Maui training program were, front row from left, Landon Eason, Dawn Alexander, back row from left, Melvin Hippolito, Derek Brown, Darryl Lindsey, and not pictured Seth Lokken. Photo courtesy of the Steve Parabicoli, University of Hawaiʻi Maui College. Students who earned certificates for completing the Spring 2016 semester of the training program were, front row from left, Landon Eason, Dawn Alexander, back row from left, Melvin Hippolito, Derek Brown, Darryl Lindsey, and not pictured Seth Lokken. Photo courtesy of Steve Parabicoli, University of Hawaiʻi–Maui College.

“The industry needs qualified personnel to fill vacancies,” said Steve Parabicoli, member of the Water Environment Federation (Alexandria, Va.) since 1985. He leads the institute’s twice-a-week classes, which cover everything from treatment facility operations and equipment, to the duties and skills associated with an entry-level operator trainee position. Parabicoli spent 35 years in Hawaii’s water and wastewater sector, serving as Maui County’s Wastewater Operations Program superintendent, Water Recycling Program coordinator, and Wastewater Reclamation Facility supervisor.

 Employees from the County of Maui's Department of Water Supply including Marvin Ignacio, Water Treatment Plant manager, have supported the program and provided tours for spring 2016 class. Photo courtesy of the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College.  Training course students learned about various laboratory procedures and equipment. Photo courtesy of the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College.
Employees from the County of Maui’s Department of Water Supply have helped develop the necessary components of the program, which includes a lecture on laboratory testing procedures and equipment. Photo courtesy of the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College.

The 90-hour training program, which is sponsored by Hawaii Energy (Honolulu), makes it possible for wastewater operators to earn 11 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and for water operators to earn 7.2 CEUs in the state. Total cost, which includes the price of four textbooks, is $1900, but Hawaii Energy underwrites the first $500, and additional tuition assistance is available to eligible applicants through the Hawaii Workforce Development Division.

Students can learn water and wastewater operator skills at the university in Kahului, Hawaii. Photo courtesy of the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College.

Students can learn water and wastewater operator skills at the university in Kahului, Hawaii. Photo courtesy of the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College.

Parabicoli will teach the next course in the spring of 2017. Those interested can prepare by counting their frequent flyer miles and reading more about the entry-level facility operator course online. For more information, contact Parabicoli at 808-572-7010 or parabicoli@sportsmail.com.

 

— Mary Bufe, WEF Highlights

Water and Wastewater Training Opportunities Featured in WEF Highlights

Whether you are a wastewater veteran in search of an online continuing education course or an entry-level employee aspiring to enter the water sector, colleges, and universities across the country now offer coursework designed to help. The key is to find the program that works for you. Stay tuned to WEF Highlights for articles featuring these programs.

Find the articles by searching for the keyword TrainingCourses. Know a program that you’d like to share? Send it to Jennifer Fulcher, WEF Highlights editor, at jfulcher@wef.org.

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