Water Environment Federation (WEF)

Talent Retention a Key Driver to Workforce Development

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Courtesy of Courtesy of Water Environment Federation (WEF)


Development of key employees is more important than ever for North American utilities. Facing the retirement of a large percentage of key managers in the next few years, utility leaders are scrambling to capture the unique institutional knowledge these departing managers may be carrying out the door. Has your organization been developing the right
employees who can bridge the talent gap that may exist until the position is filled? At the Tualatin Valley Water District (TVWD) – a provider of domestic water to approximately 200,000 people located just west of Portland, Oregon – utility leaders are already facing these challenges head-on and the organization has taken concrete action to be ready. With three key managers planning their retirement within the next three years, TVWD initiated a program to validate institutional knowledge documents, gather tacit knowledge about operational history, and commit planning schedules to paper that previously existed only in managers’ heads. The utility has launched a workforce development program that is based on matching an individual’s strengths to an individual development plan, a model other utilities may wish to emulate.


Workforce Development, Talent Retention, Institutional Knowledge, Retirement

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