Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).
Session 01A: Leadership, Social Equity and Workforce Development: Workforce Development
9:45am - 12:00pm
Session Chair: Kristi Steiner, Clean Water Services;
9:45am - 10:30am
The Power of Mentorship: Equipping the Next Generation for Success
Dominic Elliott, Karstin Jacobson
HDR, United States of America;
The workforce is on the cusp of a notable period of transition (if not already within it), which presents real challenges for the future. There is a noticeable generation gap in our industry, with senior technical and operational staff on the cusp of retirement, contrasting a younger generation entering the workplace, unsure of career paths and growth potential. How do we navigate this period of transition and close this knowledge and experience gap? How are we actively passing down the wisdom and expertise of the experienced staff to equip the younger generation to be successful? While this is a systemic challenge at its core, one of the ways that HDR has approached this challenge is through the power of mentorship. HDR has recently revamped its Washington State Mentoring Program to pivot towards a more structured program to empower staff towards deeper understanding of developing a career path, work-life-balance, networking, leadership, and technical development.
While casual mentorship is still important, a structured mentorship program has been a vehicle for connection between staff that has helped foster a sense of community, provided deliberate career development, and opened a channel for feedback between all levels of the organization. Some of the key takeaways from this revised approach to mentorship are that milestones and goal setting are important, that tools and resources to equip staff for intentional mentorship act as a catalyst for deeper conversation, and that arranging a specific timeline for mentorship creates a framework for regular celebration, evaluation, and engagement of our staff.
As a workforce, we are more diverse than we have ever been. We are more technologically advanced than we have ever been. What better time to improve the way we tap into our experiences and connect with each other through the power of mentoring?
10:30am - 11:15am
Mentoring – The Best Bridging Opportunity and it’s Available to Anyone
Chuck McDonald1, Jadene Stensland2
1Akana, United States of America; 2Cleanwater Services; ,
Mentoring is a process of providing support, advice and feedback to people that are interested in improving their knowledge and understanding as well as are open to improving themselves. Mentoring can build trusting relationships that empower each individual to openly share varied perspectives so both people feel welcomed and valued. But in today’s workplace, it seems like no one really wants to obtain honest input or feedback. What obstacles block employees from taking advantage of the mentors in the industry? This discussion will include a mentoring team that have spent the last year in developing a successful mentoring process. We will discuss what mentoring is, how it works and why it is important for everyone to be involved in a mentoring program, regardless of their age, gender or ethnicity.
11:15am - 12:00pm
Nampa Wastewater Treatment Plant Construction: Collaboration is Key to Success
Emily O'Morrow, Mike Zeltner, Matt Gregg
Brown and Caldwell, United States of America; , ,
The City of Nampa’s Wastewater Treatment Plant is completing the $38M Phase I Upgrades to meet interim phosphorus permit limits while also creating a baseline for the Phase II and III Upgrades to meet even lower phosphorus and temperature limits, respectively. Phase I was comprised of three project groups designed and constructed by different entities which created coordination challenges. The design and construction of these projects overlapped creating an increased needed for collaboration throughout project execution. This need was filled throughout project execution; the City chose to facilitate this collaboration through a program manager who was responsible for the coordination between planners, final designers, contractors, and operators.
Phase I construction required connections to several major process flow streams including primary effluent, aeration air, RAS, WAS, and plant drain. The shut downs required for these tie-ins began with collaboration between the City, designers, and contractors resulting in well thought out and sequenced plans allowing the City to maintain operations during major upgrades.
Although the start-up activities and successful commissioning processes were led by the contractors, the start-up plans were developed based on input from all parties. This allowed the City to bring on-line new facilities to increase treatment capacity as well as well as replace aging and failing existing facilities, all while achieving its Critical Success Factor of no permit violations during construction.
Several junior engineering staff were given the opportunity to assist with on-site observations under the Construction Manager as well as participate in equipment start-up and facility commissioning under a Commissioning Specialist. This increased their understanding of construction techniques, awareness of the importance of well-coordinated designs, and recognition of the collaboration required between all parties to implement a successful project. Early introduction to construction techniques and how operators run plants in practice will aid their ability to produce quality designs in the future.
Coordination between designers, contractors, and operators, facilitated by a program manager has proven successful at Nampa’s Wastewater Treatment Plant. Maintaining a key contact responsible for coordination between entities onsite will be continued through future phases of construction following success in Phase I.