Mueller presents bill to increase accessibility to water and wastewater training and licensure

Published 8:42 pm Friday, March 15, 2024

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On Thursday,  Rep. Patricia Mueller (R-Austin), joined by Austin Mayor Steve King and Brenda Johnson, director of the Southeastern Minnesota League of Municipalities, presented HF 3475, which would create a localized training program in southern Minnesota for those seeking the needed licensure for water and wastewater operations.

The bill provides funds to Riverland Community College to develop a pathway for water and wastewater operator licensure. Specifically, the bill would allot $350,000 in one-time grant money in fiscal year 2025 to the city of Austin.

It would be available through June 30, 2027.

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“As we heard from Ms. Johnson, there is a massive need for this training in our area to fill over 200 job openings in an accessible way.” Mueller said. “This training program that partners with experts in the field and the local community college is an innovative way to meet a critical need. I look forward to seeing this initiative succeed so that we can meet the needs of our water infrastructure and protect our environment.”

At the conclusion of the Workforce Development hearing, the bill was laid over for possible inclusion in a future omnibus bill.