Streamline - Winter 2014 - (Page 29)
Virginia Offenders Train for
Wastewater Treatment Jobs
BY LISA E. KINNEY,
VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS
incarcerated offenders in an area of need for many
Commonwealth communities, a new Virginia Department of Corrections program
allows offenders to get certified to properly deal with wastewater.
LOOKING TO TRAIN
After they leave prison, these offenders can gain employment as licensed
professionals in the field of wastewater
"Every community, large or small,
has wastewater treatment needs,"
explained Nottoway Correctional Center
Treatment Plant Operator Robbie Jones.
"There are many jobs available, and
these jobs require increasingly stringent credentials. People don't realize
how much it takes. A lot of science and
math goes into wastewater operation."
Eleven apprentices have completed
the year-long program, and 10 have
passed the Class 4 wastewater certification and received an operator's license.
One offender has advanced and earned
a Class 3 certification, and at least one
former offender now works at a wastewater treatment facility in his community.
Only offenders deemed to be low
security risks may apply for and enter
the program. Violent and sexual offenders are not eligible.
To train the offenders, VADOC offers
classroom and computer course work
sanctioned by the Virginia Department
of Professional and Occupational
Regulation (DPOR). To complete their
apprenticeships, applicants must make
it through an interview panel and a
fact-finding conference; submit a variety of paperwork; and document their
hours in the classroom and at work.
There are four licensing classifications,
each with progressively more rigorous
While much of the learning is a traditional combination of book study and
on-the-job training, the apprentices also
have access to computers, which, for
A wastewater treatment program apprentice
at Nottoway Correctional Center grabs a
sample from a basin.
Dennis Greene, an offender at Haynesville
Correctional Unit 17, checks a wastewater sample.
Because of a new VADOC wastewater treatment
apprenticeship program, Greene has earned a
Class 4 wastewater certification and received
an operator's license. He aspires to work in the
wastewater treatment field upon his release.
A wastewater treatment program apprentice at
Nottoway Correctional Center checks dissolved
oxygen content of the wastewater.
security reasons, are stand-alone units
without connections to the internet.
The new program is quite popular,
and part of the draw is the opportunity
to work with state-of-the-art equipment.
But the primary attraction is the promise
of future job opportunities.
Haynesville Correctional Unit 17 Wastewater
Treatment Plant Supervisor Graham L. Jett,
standing, works with Dennis Greene. Greene
has received a combination of classroom
learning and on-the-job training to complete a
VADOC wastewater treatment apprenticeship.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Streamline - Winter 2014
From the President: Three Years Later
From the Executive Director: Rattling About the Important Things
Water and Wastewater Systems
Regret: How to Live with What You Cannot Change
OSHA Compliance for Public Works
Nutrient Contamination and Source Water
USDA Rural Development
Cleared for Takeoff!
Emergency Tank Repair Prevention and Preparation
Virginia Offenders Train for Wastewater Treatment Jobs
2014-2015 Membership Directory
Throwing My Loop: Revelators
Do You Know What Your VRWA Benefits Are?
VRWA Training Calendar
Welcome New Members
Board of Directors
Index to Advertisers/ Ad.com
Streamline - Winter 2014