Past - Chair's Report
The holidays are now behind us, and this means we are only weeks
away from this year’s WATERCON that will be held in March! The conference again looks to be bigger and
better than ever, and the Technical Program is packed with useful topics. Please keep in mind that, in most cases, the
contacts and networking that happens at WATERCON can be just as rewarding as
the technical presentations. Remember to
ask your colleagues about their successes and frustrations, as much can be
learned from these discussions.
When I became Chair of the Section I talked about the number
one priority I had for 2012 and early 2013…TRAINING, TRAINING, TRAINING! I wanted us all to work together to increase
and to improve the education opportunities for operators looking to obtain a
license and those needing hours to maintain one. I am very happy to say that, as I end my
tenure as an officer, these goals were met or exceeded! The use of webinars for training was
increased and they are becoming very popular.
These offer the opportunity for us to view them when the time is right
for each individual or utility and this allows for greater flexibility for all. The use of water utility and municipal
locations for partnering of training seminars also continues to increase and is
a big success. This type of arrangement
offers individuals a chance to obtain training that can be more cost effective
and also closer to home for operators. Please
consider hosting a session at your utility!
The biggest issue that continues to face the Section and,
more importantly, the water industry as a whole is the aging of our
membership. The number of people who
will be retiring in the next 5-10 years continues to grow and we need to
encourage people to get into our field as it is an excellent career path. This issue will be a long term goal for the
Section and we are looking for ways to partner with entities to improve what we
do in attracting both members as well as people to join our industry. Last spring, the Section met and updated the
Strategic Plan for the coming years and partnered with Northern Illinois
University to strengthen our recruiting and retention efforts.
Please remember that the Section needs you and your help as
a volunteer! The cornerstone of our
organization continues to rely heavily on the support that comes from members
who generously give their time to serve on committees and participate in ISAWWA
activities. Take a look at the committee
list in the back of SPLASH, and see if there is a committee that interests you. Don’t hesitate to contact the Committee Chair
and volunteer. Remember that the Section
greatly appreciates your time.
Last, but not least, a big thank you to Laurie, Lisa and
Sandi, the excellent staff we have at the Section. They helped to make the multi-year commitment
as an officer both rewarding and a lot of fun along the way! Without them we could not have come close to
accomplishing all of our goals. Thanks again!
See you in Springfield at WATERCON!