Water Professionals International recognizes that water and wastewater operators are at the frontlines of protecting public safety. That is why this year WPI is touring across three countries to celebrate Professional Operators in their dedication to public service and expertise to the industry. The POwer Tour kicked off during Drinking Water Week; the WPI team of Paul Bishop, Tom Healy, and Haley Vanness traveled to Washington D.C. to honor the POs operating out of DC Water. This organization has shown industry-leading dedication to the PO program and had 24 operators honored as POs, many that hold more than one certification.
DC Water has partnered with the PO program to integrate professional development in their facilities. The organization’s management has encouraged their operators to continue to better themselves in their field and supported the many efforts of continued growth as professionals. In correlation, the majority of operators hold more than one PO certification and have achieved higher levels. The supportive environment has curated more camaraderie among the staff. The WPI team shared that the entire event felt like friends got together to celebrate their accomplishments and that everyone was warm and welcoming.
Positivity is a common trend for DC Water. In fact, they go above industry standards to enable positive change in their community through an apprenticeship program. This five-year program allows a second chance for many individuals. It is a way to give those who may not have the same opportunities in life, or who have had to overcome troubled pasts, a chance to take control of their life again. They learn responsibility and necessary trade skills, and in the process, they celebrate milestones that get them closer to completing the program.
WPI was honored to start the POwer Tour in Washington D.C. based on the dedication to supporting the community and fostering improvement focused not just on the “employee”, but on the individual person. It is also why WPI hopes to commit to events like this in the coming years, as DC Water continues to encourage POs. The event was a perfect start to the summer tour celebrating POs!