As the US hydropower workforce faces an impending surge of retirements by 2035, the National Hydropower Association (NHA) is taking proactive measures to address the evolving needs of the industry. In response to this imminent challenge, NHA has established the Hydro Academy and is currently in the process of creating an NHA-certified Hydropower Systems Principals Course.

To fulfill the demand for skilled professionals and continuing education, NHA is reaching out to organizations and individuals interested in contributing to the development of the course curriculum. In a recent announcement, NHA issued a Request for Expressions of Interest (REOI) to identify entities willing to participate in the creation of this groundbreaking program.

The REOI outlines the critical need for training as the existing workforce in the water power sector approaches retirement, necessitating the recruitment and training of new employees to fill these upcoming vacancies. The Hydropower Systems Principals Course is envisioned as a comprehensive program, covering various aspects of hydropower production. It aims to provide approximately 40 hours of training through eight modules, including topics such as production planning, dam safety, equipment engineering, and environmental considerations.

NHA seeks expressions of interest from companies, academia, and individuals interested in contributing to the curriculum development. Interested parties are invited to respond by December 18, 2023. The formal Request for Proposals (RFP) is expected to be issued in early January 2024, with an information session to follow shortly thereafter.

The proposed course content will be delivered virtually, but NHA is also exploring opportunities to integrate in-person events for supplementary learning. The development of a Hydro Basics / 101 course, focusing on the full system of hydropower production, is considered as phase 1. The course is titled "Hydropower System Principals" and covers a wide range of topics crucial to the industry.

To ensure the curriculum's quality, NHA outlines specific requirements for development, including rigor, high-quality standards, testing components for each module, and the issuance of completion certificates or professional development hours. NHA also envisions packaging the curriculum as self-learning modules for flexibility and accessibility.

The full Request for Expressions of Interest (REOI) can be viewed here.