Aquatera Recognizes Intern Students

November 22, 2016

GRANDE PRAIRIE – Aquatera and CAREERS: The Next Generation recognized local high school students who are training to become Water and Wastewater Operators at a Monday evening event.

The nine local students are now back in school completing both their diploma and the second year of the Water and Wastewater Operations (WWO) pathway program after successful summer internships with Aquatera.

Aquatera is part of a pilot program that will see the training and recruitment of local youth through the provincial dual credit strategy agreement. This partnership includes the College of Alberta School Superintendents (CASS), Grande Prairie Public School Division, Peace Wapiti School Division, Grande Prairie and District Catholic Schools, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) and CAREERS: The Next Generation (CAREERS).

The two-year program allows students to receive credits toward a high school diploma while also meeting requirements for a Fundamentals of Water and Wastewater Operations Certificate through NAIT.

Water and Wastewater Treatment Operators are essential for running Aquatera’s Class III Water and Class IV Wastewater Treatment Plants. Trained operators also ensure the extensive distribution and collection systems that bring water to and from the treatment plants are maintained.

Grande Prairie and area students from schools including, Charles Spencer, St. Joseph Catholic, Beaverlodge Regional, Sexsmith Secondary and Spirit River Regional Academy started the classroom component of the program in September 2015. The hands-on component under the guidance of seasoned Aquatera operators began in July for the grade 10 and 11 students.

“We are very pleased with their performance over the summer and the work ethic and positive attitudes they brought each day,” says Bernd Manz, Aquatera CEO. “Aquatera is committed to helping grow healthy communities. We see this as an excellent opportunity to do just that by ensuing these vital roles are filled when operators begin to retire.”

The students spent half the summer learning the ropes at Aquatera’s Water and Wastewater Treatment Facilities and the second half with Distribution/Collection Operators. Jerry Heck SVP Growth, CAREERS: The Next Generation stated: “CAREERS highly values the partnership with Aquatera to provide summer internship time for high school students pursuing a career pathway as a Water Wastewater Operator (WWO).

“The opportunity for nine Grande Prairie and Region high school students to spend eight weeks with seasoned mentors and to learn of the operating procedures in the treatment of water and wastewater are unprecedented in the region. This type of student hands-on engagement compliments their study of the high school/post-secondary WWO dual credit program. The model is an example of an excellent employer workforce development plan to ‘grow your own’.”

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Aquatera Utilities Inc. is the Grande Prairie region’s provider of water, wastewater and solid waste services. Its core purposes is helping grow healthy communities and aims to have the best people providing the best service for the best value. For more information:

Chelsea Lewis
Communications and Change Manager
Aquatera Utilities Inc.
P: 587.297.0692