This year, the EFC at UNC presented two sessions at the HWWA 2018 Annual Conference. Those sessions were:
Infrastructure Investment: Systems struggle to get the funds they need to replace assets or don’t know which assets to replace given limited budgets. Bigger systems in Hawaii are likely doing some type of asset management, but smaller systems may not be. We had a session presenting an overview of long-term system planning that introduced the ideas of asset management and capital planning, talks about key elements, shares some free tools to help with long-term planning, and incorporates a quick exercise on asset criticality. We also had a document showing available grant and loan programs for systems in Hawaii that we shared as part of this session.
Workforce Planning: Operators across the country are aging, and as an industry, we are struggling to encourage younger people to get into the workforce, and Hawaii, as an island area, has the reality of a somewhat limited supply of potential workers as compared to the mainland. For this session, we focused on ways to find—and grow—successful employees. We have good examples of successful high school and college internship programs, apprenticeship programs, and ways to attract military personnel into water careers. We also talked about some workforce retention strategies and how to prepare for coming departures—planned or otherwise. Our approach to workforce planning is not significantly different than asset management. It’s helpful to have a sense of who might leave and what impact that person leaving would have on the water system.
We also offered a Rates Dashboard Presentation of our Hawaii Water and Wastewater Rates Dashboard.