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Splash! introduces urban youth to water-based jobs

Lauren Magnuson | 9/26/2012, 11:19 a.m.

Fifty percent of current positions within the water-based profession will be vacated over the next five to 10 years due to retirement, said James Lambert, project manager of corporate and community education at Roxbury Community College (RCC).

That’s why RCC, in collaboration with several environmental agencies, will host Splash!, an event focused on water, the environment and related careers at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center on Oct. 2.

Registration is free, and attendees will have access to exhibits by Massachusetts-based water professionals, breakout sessions, career panels and demonstrations.

Organizers are gearing the event toward urban youth ages 14 to 24 in order to feed the pipeline of future water professionals and engage Boston’s youth on the importance of safe water and a safe environment.

"It’s really been catered to urban youth in an attempt to fill these vacancies with young minorities, so they can bring back that knowledge, and ... a better economic standing into their community," Lambert said.

RCC is sponsoring the event in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency, the Boston Youth and Environmental Network, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and the Massachusetts Water Works Association.

"We really want to create awareness of the positions that are opening up," Lambert said. "Some people might know these jobs are available but they don’t know how to go about doing it."

The registration website for Splash! will transform into a career launch page after the event, with a listing of exhibitors hyperlinking directly to that employer’s open positions, Lambert said.

The EPA is co-sponsoring the event as part of their active work with local vocational-technical high schools and community colleges, said Paula Haschig, public affairs specialist.

"We hope that each attendee will gain a better appreciation of the true value of water in our lives," Haschig said. "Through personal interaction with water professionals, we hope that many students will be inspired to learn more and pursue exciting careers in the water field."

Lambert, a former elementary school teacher, said that he wants to boost the confidence of young people in Boston in their career potential.

"When I send them to this fair, my hope is that they gain an alternative to a career that’s promising, and that they gain a direct resource for how to obtain it," Lambert says.

"I want to excite students about this industry, and the hope for a career in it," he said.

To register for Splash!, visit http://www.rcc.mass.edu/cce/splash.asp.