The City of Winlock has graduated another student in their intern program for their water distribution and wastewater treatment program. They hire individuals to help clean the water you drink and the toilet water you flush. This year James Agren has graduated.
James came to the City of Winlock with the desire to learn. He stated, "The importance of having competent people running infrastructure, making sure that all the pieces fit together and they function efficiently and safely is no simple task, and that is not enough to keep turning it over to outside contractors. The public workers in these small towns really do a lot with very little."
When thinking about the program, James stated, "The program is helpful in really illustrating what the job looks like. Most of the time it is the same old thing, changing slightly with the seasons, but then out of the blue you'll have some sinkhole or leaking pipe basin overfilled or pump gone out that requires your full attention. It is those moments that make you realize how these public work infrastructures that make up our lives in the modern world really work." James would recommend this program to anyone who wants to learn.
Each student, when they complete the program, has the opportunity to stay in the water distribution and wastewater treatment by applying for jobs that are open. James is staying in the field, he stated, "I am currently looking for an opening at a larger plant so I can continue my education and get further certifications."
Training can be very difficult, it can be stressful but James enjoyed his time, he continued, "The training was fun. Rod is a great instructor with lots of insight and the 'everything is going to be ok' attitude some of the higher pressure situations require."
Rodney Cecil, Superintendent with the City of Winlock stated, "James has done an excellent job during his training program and he will make a great water and sewer operator. Also a shout out to our other graduates."
Mayor Swenson stated, "James has done a phenomenal job and we look forward to seeing what his future holds."
The program was started 5 years ago under Mayor Lonnie Dowell and has continued in the terms of two other mayors. Colby Boone is the new intern, selected in April. This program has graduated Jessie Weiner, Susan Parker, Heather Luurs and James Agren.