Marano Fellows Class of 2009

Name: Dawn Gardner

Arapahoe/Douglas Works!

Location: Greenwood Village, Colorado
Primary Industry Sector: Aerospace/Aviation, Bioscience/Healthcare, Energy/Renewable Energy (Water/Waste Water Management), IT/Finance
Type of Organization: WIB

“What really excites me about my sector work is continuing partnerships with industry, business organizations and education to identify best practices and implement these successes into the sector work going forward. I’m excited to learn new tools to better implement the Water/Waste Water Management Sector program in the Front Range of Colorado.”

Organizational Mission: Investments in Human Capital for sustained economic vitality and competitiveness in the Metro Denver region

Interest in Sector Work: Arapahoe/Douglas Works! has been working within targeted industries for over 2 years now and recently was awarded a Front Range Sector Planning Grant with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. We partnered in the Denver Metro region to address the operations employees within Water/Waste Water Management that will be retiring in the next 5 – 10 years.

Much of the data collected regarding the workforce gaps, challenges and potential strategies in water and wastewater management have been conducted on a national level by the AWWA. AWWA will be publishing a report based on their Water Sector Workforce Sustainability Initiative. We are currently collecting local data to develop and deliver a comprehensive clear picture to our Advisory Council made up of industry to facilitate selecting key strategies to implement for the Colorado Front Range. Several key strategies will be required and include:

  • Enhancing the image of water jobs to appeal to current and future labor pools both low income and younger workers.
  • Improving the definition of water sector career pathways to accommodate a mobile workforce and facilitate the common skills based competencies and training.
  • Establishing a “clearinghouse” to share workforce best practices.
  • Improve our outreach to educational organizations including K-12, community colleges, and universities.
  • Continue to develop and deliver best in class training in the areas of critical need.