The Office of Professional and Workforce Development (OPWD), specifically the Training, Research and Education for Environmental Occupations (TREEO) Center has been training water and wastewater operators in the State of Florida, the nation, and internationally for over forty years.

With the renewed interest in workforce development, particularly in the area of infrastructure, the staff of OPWD realized there was an untapped resource of high school students looking to enter the workforce and start a career after graduation. OPWD created the Career and Workforce Development Education program with the goal of engaging high school students with courses that would have the triple benefit of providing high school credit, college credit, and the potential to earn a license or certification in a specified industry.

The partnership between OPWD and Florida Gateway College achieves this goal and offers aspiring high school graduates career and additional education options.


The University of Florida Career and Workforce Development Education Program provides the following:

Water Treatment Plant Operations Class C & B Training Course – Content and Instruction
Wastewater Treatment Plant Operations Class C Training Course – Content and Instruction
Students receive a UF Certificate of Completion
Districts can purchase books through the TREEO Center

Water Treatment Operators

Provide the basic knowledge necessary for students to begin a career in the water treatment field.

Wastewater Treatment Operators

To teach students the fundamental principles involved in wastewater treatment plant operation which can vary from plant to plant.

Foodservice Managers

(Coming Soon) To equip students with skills to manage foodservice operations and ensure food safety.

They will be responsible for implementation of menus, foodservice purchasing, and food preparation. Foodservice Managers are expected to apply nutrition principles, document nutrition information, manage work teams, and much more.


Niki Brightstone

Email: niki@treeo.ufl.edu

Phone: 352.294.3887

We work with high school students, parents, and high school counselors to ensure success in our CWDE courses. In offering high quality work-skills programs, an exceptional customer experience, and course monitoring we ensure students are successful and prepared for careers in industries which are in great demand.


Great Opportunities for Growth

Individuals can advance from basic Level C Operators to intermediate Level B and on to leadership positions with more advanced Level A licenses with corresponding pay increases at each level.

A Growing Industry

As the Baby Boomer generation continues to retire, the Water/Wastewater industry will need to fill these vacancies with trained, licensed operators. Job prospects for this industry are excellent in the coming decade with a projected growth of 8% through 2022 (epa.gov).

Long Lasting Career

In a stable industry which could provide individuals competitive employment benefits such as: medical, dental, vision, life insurance, retirement plans, work-life balance, paid personal leave, job security.

Environmental Impact

Individuals who want to make an impact on the health and the environment of their community will have gratifying careers in rewarding industries.

Meaningful Global Contribution

Meaningful contribution in solving global issues: unsafe drinking water, climate change, and environmental sustainability.

Satisfying Career in a Complex and Evolving Foodservice Industry

An ever-evolving career in a global climate where diversity of cuisines, clientele and job markets make this an exciting career with growth opportunities both locally and globally. The projected growth in this industry is 11% by 2028 (collegegrad.com).

The Importance of an Operator in a Community’s Water Systems from RCAP on Vimeo.