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E-Splash June 2013 - Education Committee
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Illinois Section AWWA - E-Splash - June 2013

Education Committee
Jeff Freeman, Chair

 Summer is here! As the kids head into their summer break, most of us continue to report to work each day. Hopefully, you can find some time to plug into some education sessions in the next few months. You can take the opportunity to brag to kids you know how you are taking the opportunity to get smarter while they are spending time with their summer companion – X Box! All kidding aside, hopefully our community’s youth are wise enough to limit their video gaming and enjoy the outdoors during summer break. Hopefully, you can take some time to get out of the hot sun and get some training in.

The Education Committee and the ISAWWA staff continue to work hard to coordinate training sessions for you. If it is not out already, you should see the training catalog for the second half of the year soon. Please recall our many formats for training, including one hour webinars (live and on-demand), one hour Engineering Power Hours, three to five hour in-person seminars and multi-week classes, to name a few.

In addition to the typical training coordination, the Education Committee will be focusing on two main efforts throughout the second half of the year. In support of one of our Chair’s (John Van Arsdel) main goals and to build on our Operator Day track at WATERCON, we will be focusing on developing a leadership training seminar. Our current goal is to develop a leadership training seminar-in-a-box. The "box” will contain all of the educational tools necessary for the seminar to go on the road. In lieu of overloading our fantastic folks who are helping put it together with multiple presentations throughout the State, we will provide the handouts, slides and guidance for facilitators. The facilitators will work through the program with the attendees. When they have completed the session, they will send the box back to ISAWWA where it will then be distributed to another group.

The second effort is to build on the restrained joint seminar-in-a-box that already has been created. The Committee will be working to use both the leadership and restrained joint seminar-in-a-box processes to develop guidelines for future seminars-in-a-box. We believe the seminar-in-a-box series will allow the training programs to reach a larger audience. I hope you agree. We look forward to rolling out the seminars-in-a-box toward the end of the year or early next year. We look forward to groups requesting the boxes, conducting the training, and then giving us feedback on the training method.

Speaking of WATERCON and leadership training…..we have received a lot of positive remarks about our Operator Day program of which the theme was Succession Planning & the Future of the Water Industry. Thank you so much to the speakers who took the time to pull together presentations and to speak to the group. There was good attendance at the sessions, as well as at the IEPA Meet the Staff opener. Thank you to the IEPA staff members for sharing their insight with the group in those comfy chairs. I also want to thank Terry McGhee for allowing us to use his water jeopardy slide show at our WATERCON booth. It provided a great backdrop for discussion, and I think it is fair to say many of us learned a few new things from it.

Please remember we are always looking for training session ideas. If you are interested in presenting a topic, or there is a topic that you would really like to learn about, please contact Lisa Hoffhines and let her know your thoughts. Lisa’s e-mail address is If you ever have any comments or questions about the Education Committee and/or education program, please feel free to contact me at or 630-466-6700.


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