Inland Empire Works

Inland Empire Water/Wastewater Apprenticeship Pathways Program


IEWorks is dedicated to strengthening the water/wastewater workforce in the Inland Empire. With substantial funding from the US Department of Education and the CA High Road Training Partnership, IEWorks partners with Bay Area-based JVS and BAYWORK to leverage their success and best practices. 

IEWorks will increase the number of highly qualified candidates for mission-critical positions in the water/wastewater industry, while ensuring economic equity across the Inland Empire. IEWorks will develop a diverse talent pipeline through apprenticeship, internship and career awareness opportunities. 



  1. Build a regional training workforce consortium that includes water/wastewater agencies, labor, educational institutions, and community organizations. 
  2. Deliver high-quality training leading to in-demand jobs in maintenance and operations (ex. Water Operators), using proven models like apprenticeship, internship and career awareness. 
  3. Address economic equity by prioritizing workers in communities where there is a disproportionate burden of income and environmental inequality including women, workers from the Black and Latinx communities, transition age youth, and those re-entering the workforce. 


Key Contacts

  • Naseem Farooqi, Public Affairs Manager, West Valley Water District, [email protected], (909) 820-3702 
  • Gracie Torres, Vice Pres., Western Municipal Water District, [email protected], (951) 970-8692 
  • Elizabeth Toups, Director of Utilities Training Programs, JVS, [email protected], 415-238-6545 
  • Michael Kushner, BAYWORK Manager, JVS, [email protected], (510) 407-7629 
  • Scott Goodell, IEWorks Manager, JVS, [email protected], (415) 802-5576

More information about planned training classes is coming soon.  Until then, join our email list to learn about upcoming IEWorks events.

Our Utilities Team

Elizabeth Toups

Elizabeth Toups

Director of Utilities Programs

Elizabeth Toups has over 25 years of experience leading workforce education and training strategies, with particular expertise in the utilities and healthcare industries. In her role as Director of Utilities Training Programs, Elizabeth leads JVS’s efforts to build a more effective workforce pipeline leading to mission critical jobs in the public water/wastewater and transit sectors. Elizabeth is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and holds a master’s degree in public administration from Golden Gate University.

Michael Kushner

Michael Kushner


Michael brings to JVS 16 years of experience in workforce development. In addition to serving as a manager on our Utilities team, Michael also serves as the manager of BAYWORK, a workforce consortium of over 35 water and wastewater utilities in the Greater Bay Area. Michael’s dual responsibilities are a reflection of the close cooperation between JVS and the utilities that make up BAYWORK. This collaboration gives the JVS Utilities team a high-level of access to leaders in the water sector, enhancing our ability to prepare clients for these well-paid and stable careers.

Apply for the IE Works Internship Here

This program provides:

  • Paid internship for 24-40 hours/week at Water/Wastewater Agencies in and around the Inland Empire
  • Assistance with transportation and safety equipment costs
  • Post-internship job placement services & referrals to job openings with Inland Empire agencies
  • Referral to local apprenticeship and civil service testing opportunities
For more information, contact:
Elizabeth Toups, JVS, [email protected]