Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2016 - (Page 11)
FrOM tHe PreSIDeNt
By Charles Hilton,
Flint, MI - We
have all read the news reports of the lead issues in drinking water in Flint. I have
talked with Dr. Grevatt at EPA twice about the situation. The bottom line is; this situation should never
have occurred. A financial decision was made to switch to another water supply. I can understand that.
However, I can only think, "this could happen to any of us, should we get complacent in what we do." Our
jobs can easily become repetitious and dull - but, we must never forget the huge responsibility each of us
carries on our shoulders. I think it has been a wakeup call to all of us.
Rally - It appears we have had one of the most successful Rallies we have had in some years, based
on reports back from the Hill. I personally thank each of you for joining us in one of the most important
things we do each year - folks from "back home" telling their Congressmen and Senators what is
important to them. Special thanks to our DC staff for paving the way and their tremendous "behind-thescenes" work to make it all happen.
Spring conferences - State rural water association conferences are in full swing about now. It's been
my privilege to attend three since the Rally, and I will be on the road five of the next seven weeks. What
an honor to attend these meetings across our country, but an even greater pleasure is meeting some of
the finest folks in America. The system operations specialists, managers and board members at these
conferences are there to improve their ability to serve their customers. And for most of us, it's not for the
money (many careers are far more remunerative), it's not for the glamour (ever cleaned out a sewer?),
and it's not for the prestige ("Hello Sir - I'm your local sewer system operations specialist"); it's the
satisfaction of serving people in the place we call home.
Careers in water - The theme for the Second Quarter issue is "Education and a Career in Water."
Just last week at the Rural Water Association of Arizona Conference, I had several people approach me
and ask, "How do we attract young people into this industry?" Unfortunately, my answer of "I don't have
a clue" was not the correct one. As I travel, I am more acutely aware of the amount of grey hair in our
midst. And I am hearing more and more questions about how we attract (and more importantly, keep)
qualified young people in our ranks. I would say better pay and benefits. Our utility went through this
many years ago with aggressive changes in our salary scales and benefit structure. We now compete with
anyone in both salary and benefits in our area and exceed most other employers. Yet, finding qualified
and dedicated employees remains one of our greatest challenges. Every major association recognizes the
challenges the industry faces and yet I have not seen the answer. I realize I am a Baby Boomer and I see
things differently, and have different expectations of individuals. We are now past the Generation X's and
are now in the Millennials. It is imperative that all generations sit down and find a solution to this problem
and solve it quickly.
And closing thoughts - Next week, I will hit the road again, traveling to many of the state
conferences. If you haven't heard me say it, thank you for your hospitality, your friendliness, and your
gracious welcome and comments to me wherever I go. The greatest part of all of this is meeting you - the
greatest people alive. ●
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2016
From the President
Careers in Rural Water
Credential from Water U Helps Land the Job
Lessons in Water
Finance: Tracking Down Non-Revenue Water
Technology: GIS and the 5 Ws
Emergency Management: Drought to Flood: Oklahoma
A Day in the Life of a Circuit Rider
Four Key Benefits to Incorporating Cellular Technology into Your Utility Management System
The WaterPro Online Community
Throwing My Loop
Index to Advertisers/ Advertisers.com
From the CEO
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2016
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