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By Kris Polly
State Technical College of Missouri has a 99 percent job placement rate and is ranked number 3 in Forbes magazine’s nationwide list of the top 25 2‐year trade schools—statistics that should get anyone’s attention. The college, known locally as State Tech, prepares students for jobs in fields ranging from utility installation to electrical technology and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. In this month’s cover story, we speak with Dean of Strategy and Growth Ben Berhorst and Marketing Department Director Brandon McElwain about State Tech’s programs, especially those related to municipal water.
Next, we speak with water professionals from three Missouri cities. Krista Schurtz, the vice president of natural gas and water operations for City Utilities of Springfield, Missouri, tells us about protecting water quality, updating infrastructure, and planning for future growth. Then, Mark Schaufler, the director of water utilities in Lee’s Summit, tells us about the utilities’ new asset management model, customer advisory group, and more. Finally, Andy Miller, the public utilities supervisor for the City of Greenfield, tells us about upcoming projects, ground application of wastewater, and a new well.
Wrapping up our Missouri‐focused articles, we speak with Joan Doerhoff, the clean water coordinator unit chief in the Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ Financial Assistance Center, about the many grant and loan programs that can help municipalities with important infrastructure projects.
After that, we turn our gaze to the neighboring state of Oklahoma, where the Norman Utilities Authority is studying an indirect potable reuse project to firm up its Lake Thunderbird water supply.
Then, we speak with Kim Rydholm, the fish passage delivery manager at the Washington State Department of Transportation, about impressive efforts to comply with an injunction to restore access to 90 percent of blocked salmonid habitat by 2030.
We close out with a fascinating conversation with Tariq Nada, the vice president for water and technical services for desalination technology at Saudi company ACWA Power, about the new Al Taweelah Independent Water Plant, the world’s largest desalination plant, and the future prospects for desalination worldwide.
I think that the stories in this magazine, from start to finish, demonstrate one thing very clearly: The municipal water industry is full of great jobs that supply life‐giving water to consumers today and are working toward a future that is both environmentally friendly and high tech.
Kris Polly is the editor-in-chief of Municipal Water Leader magazine and the president and CEO of Water Strategies LLC, a government relations firm he began in February 2009 for the purpose of representing and guiding water, power, and agricultural entities in their dealings with Congress, the Bureau of Reclamation, and other federal government agencies. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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