Texas $9 Billion, 1.4 Million Employed Water Technology Powerhouse

 
 
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SAN ANTONIO - Oct. 22, 2015 - PRLog -- Press Release          Media Contact:

         Richard Seline, 800-708-0478

         rseline@accelerateH2O.org (mailto:rseline@accelerateH2O.org)

Texas’ Water and Water Technology Cluster Drives Innovation, Economic Competitiveness, and 1+ Million Jobs in a $9 billion Sector

San Antonio, TX (October 22, 2015)
 While appropriately focused on addressing long-term drought and storm related issues, upgrading facilities and infrastructure, and responding to the continuous demand for water due to population and industrial growth, the State of Texas’ economy has an undiscovered $9 billion water and water technology cluster of jobs, businesses, and assets.

“Skills, Talents, and Occupations in Texas’ Water and Water Technology Cluster Report,” has been released by AccelerateH2O in partnership with San Antonio-based Alamo Colleges and funding from the Texas Workforce Commission. Upon collecting and analyzing historical, current and projected data of employment, occupations, and businesses in all 254 counties and the 16 regional water planning districts, the Report has identified over 76 impacted industry sectors, 50 occupations, and an emerging challenge to fill some 30,000 retirements among water systems.

The total number of water-related jobs in Texas for the year 2005 was 865,558; one decade later - 2015  - 1,030,929 are employed across a variety of sectors and occupations. There was a 19% job increase from 2005 to 2015. The total amount of forecasted jobs for 2025 are 1,168,320 jobs, which constitutes a 35% job availability jump from the years 2015 to 2025. Using a conservative index of ‘core’ and ‘supportive’ occupations to define direct and indirect employment, AccelerateH2O’s assessment suggest that in the near-term total employment may reach closer to 1.4 million.

Other findings from the initial analysis include:

·      Texas is second to California in the number of water-related products, services, industries, and sub-sectors. Some 340,000 Texans are directly and over 700,000 indirectly employed in operations, treatment, and distribution to serve the needs of both public and private sector water-related sectors;

·      This level of employment currently places “Water and Water Technology” in the top five of overall economic and workforce “clusters” in Texas – side by side with long-standing industries such as energy, information, bio-life sciences, aviation and defense, and electronics;

·      “Indirect” employment and jobs are in sectors dependent upon the consistent and ready flow of water for completing tasks and producing revenues. Agriculture-related jobs are linked to water for the growth and production of crops. Yet so are car washes, laundries, fishing, recreation and entertainment, and an array of companies and jobs across the State;

·      The ratio of current postings to job placement in public water system employment is 1:1; yet expected retirement and technology advancements requiring additional certification and training forecast a significant gap for Texas’ water and water technology cluster – a gap impacting rural and urban communities;

·      The majority of occupations require at least a bachelor’s degree, followed by occupations requiring only high school or vocational training;

·      More occupations are reliant upon technical and applied understanding, and the application of information, electronic, material, and chemical processes – therefore future education attainment and experience will require new ways of integrating learning and certification with real-time, on-site, on-the-job apprenticeships and other forms of skills development;

·      Five of the top emerging water technology investment areas require extensive engineering capacity across traditional (civil, mechanical) as well as non-traditional (marine, aerospace, information) engineering jobs that correspond to those new technologies  - all generating a broad spectrum of opportunities across Texas for undergraduate and post-graduate degrees.

“This initial report proves that Texas economic, workforce, technology, investment and most importantly policy-making leadership must consider that we have had a large cluster of employment and opportunity right in front of us. We can be a global hub for innovating water while assuring future generations with good paying jobs and careers,” noted Ed Archuleta, Chairman of AccelerateH2O, and the former President of the El Paso Water System.

Carlos Marin, member of AccelerateH2O’s advisory committee and civic leader from Brownsville suggests “from South Texas and the Rio Grande Valley to West Texas and the Panhandle, water and water technologies have been and will be job-creating sectors for youth and students seeking to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges through science, technology, engineering and math – “STEM” – and we have got to immediately seize this opportunity or lose it to other states and countries.”

“In discussions with Texas’ water and industry associations, clearly the issue of near- and long-term employment in this very large sector has not received the attention it must for the State to not just serve the demand for water, but to be an innovation driver on a national and global scale. We are at the cusp of something very significant as a water technology powerhouse,” explained Richard Seline, Executive Director of AccelerateH2O.

A copy of the report can be found through the Texas Water Innovation Clearinghouse, accessed at http://www.AccelerateH2O.org (http://www.AccelerateH2O.org)  or by contacting AccelerateH2O.

About Accelerate H2O

There will always be challenges in Texas as well as barriers and limitations to innovating water. AccelerateH2O was formed to identify the most efficient and effective pathway for technology development and deployment across Texas’ residential, industrial, agricultural, and utility end-users. With more than 18 university research centers, 4,600 water agencies, 5,000+ medium and large corporate campuses, and thousands of farms and ranches, Texas represents an undiscovered $9 billion water technology marketplace. We connect the market of ideas, resources, and assets by tackling barriers and limitations to innovating water in Texas.

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Richard S. Seline
***@accelerateh2o.org
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