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The Georgian Bay Internship is Underway

  • 2 min read

This past month, Water First launched the next Water First Internship Program in the Georgian Bay area in partnership with Waabnoong Bemjiwang Association of First Nations (WBAFN)Gezhtoojig Employment & Training, Anishinabek Nation, and all the participating communities. This program will train 16 young Indigenous adults to become certified water treatment plant operators. All partners are committed to addressing the local need for more young and qualified personnel in the water management field to help ensure safe drinking water in communities.

Below is a personal reflection from Justin McGregor, Water First Internship Coordinator & Trainer:


We kicked off a new Internship Program with eight participating communities at the end of June. I have to say that so far the engagement and participation has been amazing. We have a strong group of interns who are eager to learn new skills with regards to Water Treatment, as well as Environmental Monitoring. 

Due to COVID restrictions, we started the program with 3 weeks of online introductory workshop sessions that included online learning and hands-on activities they could do at home or that took them outside. 

After that, they started a Small Drinking Water Systems online certification course. This course is the perfect start for our interns to get introduced to their roles as future water operators and water quality analysts. It is geared to be a stepping point to learn best practices and theory on what it is like day-to-day in a typical water treatment plant and what to expect for future certification exams. 

Working with the interns using online delivery has its limitations, but we were able to help them navigate the course through a week-long session where we discussed, summarized and reviewed topics that we found interesting and challenging. I feel confident that it really helped ensure that the interns retained the main topics of each section.

Upon successfully passing the exam, the interns will be considered a ‘trained person’ which means they will be able to assist in the daily routines at their local water treatment plants to ensure clean drinking water is being distributed to the community. These are exciting times for these interns. Stay tuned for more updates. 


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Water plant operator in the office