The Cooperative Institute for Research to Operations in Hydrology, or CIROH, recently attended the Worlds of Work career expo at Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The expo addresses workforce needs in the Southeast while educating students about fascinating career opportunities in various industries. The organization helps students discover their own intriguing pathways and allows organizations to introduce themselves to their potential future workforce.
CIROH representatives from The University of Alabama and the National Water Center used the event to build early relationships with nearby high school students and share the variety of water sector opportunities available to them upon graduation. By engaging with the surrounding community, CIROH hopes to inspire a brighter future for professionals and the evolving field of hydrology.
Lanna Nations, director of education and outreach at CIROH, shared the importance of the consortium’s involvement in WOW and other events catered to students.
“Worlds of Work is a big event that brings over 4,000 students from West Alabama to explore different career options,” Nations said. “For the Alabama Water Institute and CIROH, this is a great way to introduce kids to careers in water that they may not be aware of.”
Nations also pointed out that water flows across the landscape and saturates every aspect of life, from food to energy and health.
“We know in this industry that we are going to have a lot of jobs to fill, and this event is a valuable opportunity that allows us to tell a story of water and to paint a picture of what an education pathway into those jobs would look like,” she said. “Our overall goal is to spark an interest that a student may not realize they have about water and our environment and connect them to resources that will help guide them along their journey to becoming the next generation of scientists who will help us continue to create novel solutions for a more water-secure world.”
By engaging in WOW, CIROH demonstrated its commitment to nurturing communities and ensuring a sustainable future for the field of hydrology. The initiative is not a one-time event, but a part of an ongoing mission to cultivate a skilled workforce and inspire incoming cohorts of water-focused professionals.