Ribbon cutting to open Northern Maine Community College water treatment prog

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Northern Maine Community College has announced that Commissioner Paul Mercer of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection will be on hand on Thursday, Oct. 11, at 9:30 a.m. for the official ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Water Treatment Technology program lab.

NMCC is the only college in Maine to offer an Associate Degree in Water Treatment Technology (WTT) as well as certificates in both water and wastewater treatment technologies.

The water treatment lab is located in Aroostook Hall on the NMCC campus at 33 Edgemont Dr., Presque Isle.

Having such programs in place is essential for the industry due to an aging workforce and the need for qualified personnel to operate the more complex equipment in water treatment facilities.

The programs, which began this fall, were created in response to a request by the MDEP and in association with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. The two-year associate degree covers state-of-the-art technologies in both water and wastewater treatment.  The one-year certificate programs offer certification in either water or wastewater technology. The one-year programs prepare students for state-approved operator testing for immediate employment in the industry.

“We are very excited about how responsive the college has been and all the offerings developed,” said Nick Archer, the MDEP’s Northern Maine regional director.

The programs are instructed by John Belyea, a licensed professional engineer. Belyea has worked in the engineering consulting industry since 1998. His experience includes interaction with various state and local governments and industry professionals in the eastern U.S., as well as an understanding of the future economic challenges that face the State of Maine and its municipalities.

“I am honored to be a part of the team creating and implementing this program for the region. I know we will have a real impact keeping the lakes and rivers clean for future generations and to ensure the safety and purity of our drinking water,” said Belyea.

Employment opportunities for graduates of the Water Treatment Technology program include town and city treatment plants as well as plants operated by companies or government agencies.

The project was funded through the NMCC Foundation.

Submitted by the Development and College Relations Office of Northern Maine Community College.

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