IWSH Completes New Plumbing Training Facility at Navajo Technical University Ahead of Program Launch

WASHINGTON, August 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — In preparation for the launch of the Navajo Nation’s first dedicated plumbing training program later this month, the International Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Foundation (IWSH) has completed construction and furnishing of a new plumbing classroom and wet lab at the Navajo Nation Technical University Kirtland School in Kirtland, New Mexico.

The new educational institution will offer a 34-credit installer certificate program. IWSH has developed the introductory plumbing concepts and applications courses that provide learners with the skills and understanding needed for a career in the plumbing profession.

“Our IWSH team, in partnership with DigDeep, have put together a robust sanitation program that offers numerous opportunities for NTU’s students,” said IWSH’s North American program director Randy Lorge. “It is the first sanitation program of its kind for the Navajo Nation in the Four Corners region. The classes and wet lab will help provide students with hands-on, hands-on learning that can help develop a skilled workforce that can support future water and sanitation services in these communities.”

The path to a new plumbing course for the Navajo Nation dates back to the very first IWSH Community Plumbing Challenge hosted by the DigDeep Navajo Water Project in Baca.Prewitt, New Mexicoin 2018. Since that time, IWSH has focused on developing courses and the hands-on training facility to provide residents with a path to learn and become part of the plumbing profession.

DigDeep Chief Program Officer Julie Warden said the lack of trained technicians is a key challenge to accessing water The United States, one that is likely to affect the quality of the water supply for years to come. She said the sanitation program will improve job opportunities while supporting DigDeep’s work to expand water access for all people in the Navajo Nation.

“I am so proud of what we have been able to accomplish through the partnership between NTU, IWSH and DigDeep to begin training new water technicians and certified plumbers on the Navajo Nation,” Waechter said. “NTU, IWSH and DigDeep are working together to avert this crisis in the Navajo Nation by creating a world-class plumbing certification program with a hands-on wet lab. Partnerships like these bring the best of science, business and philanthropy to solve some of the toughest challenges of our time; this type of program and this type of partnership are essential to closing America’s water divide.”

In addition to IWSH’s partners at DigDeep, this project was made possible by generous donations from Ferguson and the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). The design and installation of the new wet lab, as well as the development of the new training program, was due in large part to the contributions of UA Local 412 in New Mexico.

“In June, members of UA Local 412, IWSH North American Program Director Jed ScheuermanNTU staff and I put the finishing touches on the lab by installing the plumbing fixtures, equipment and associated piping needed to complete the work,” Lorge said.”

“At NTU we are proud to have worked with IWSH and DigDeep to develop a new course and training facility with a focus on plumbing systems. We are excited to begin training students to become installers and to support our community,” said Dr. Elmer guy, President of Navajo Technical University. “The new plumbing course at NTU will provide students with the valuable skills to help many homes repair their poor plumbing and improve safe access to clean water.”

Visit http://www.navajotech.edu/academics/certificate/plumbing to learn more about the new installation course.

Visit www.iwsh.org/iwsh/our-work/n-america/us to learn more about IWSH’s work in The United States.

SOURCE The International Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Foundation (IWSH)

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