CWEA Leadership Development Committee hosting a Leadership Workshop at City of Redlands

CWEA Education Committee Focuses on Member Driven Workshops

Roni Gehkle, Clean Water Magazine Editor, Announcements

A large part of the goals established in CWEA’s Strategic Plan for 2021-2023 Is focused on the educational services that the Association provides its members. Top on the list includes identifying and implementing various approaches to increasing accessibility, identifying training needs and interests, and expanding CWEA training content to meet those needs.
Earlier this year, CWEA established a new Education Committee that would work to develop a needs assessment from the membership and build programs based on those priorities.

“The newly formed Education Committee’s first task was surveying the CWEA membership base to determine what are the existing knowledge gaps and areas where CWEA could further our mission of education and empowering our wastewater professionals,” said committee chair Bryan Trussell, longtime CWEA member and a representative from Trussell Tech.

The survey was introduced to the membership just before the Association’s annual conference this spring, with reminders to fill out the survey during the event. This helped to bring in a broad spectrum of membership returns and opinions.

“One of the key areas of the survey was to gain an understanding of whether more training opportunities were needed,” Trussell said. “The response was clear—there is a real demand for additional training opportunities, and as a result, a series of specialty workshops will be offered starting this fall through June 2023.”

The committee developed a plan to establish a series of five in-person workshops that would be offered in both Northern and Southern California. Through the survey, the committee learned what the membership felt the focus of the workshops needed to cover over the next year. The themes included leadership development, laboratory certification requirements, collections systems training, asset management best practices, and electrical and general instrumentation training.

With the help of each of the five section committees related to these disciplines noted in the needs assessment, the education committee is working to help bring these workshops to the membership. The daylong workshops are set to expand and diversify the pool of subject matter experts, speakers, and trainers. They are also intended to fill learning gaps in the CWEA education portfolio.

Already several of the standing committees are developing workshops to host within this fiscal year. The Laboratory Training Committee provided two ELAP-TNI Lab Workshops in mid-September and planning for another workshop in January, The Leadership Development Committee is working on events for February, the Collections Systems Committee is hosting webinars for January and February, as well as in-person workshops in the spring and summer, and the Engineering and Research Committee is developing in-person workshops in January and February. Stay up to date on the events calendar at

Although not on the needs assessment list, volunteer planning committees are working on the Northern California Safety Day on Oct. 19 and new Southern Safety Day set for Oct. 26. The emphasis is on preventing serious injuries and fatalities in water and wastewater.

Working to help CWEA continue to build on its mission of “empowering, educating, and connecting water professionals to protect public health and the environment,” the Education Committee’s goal is to continue to help the Association’s standing committees provide hot topics and relevant programs for years to come.