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Charleston Water System Accepting Applications for Inaugural Citizens Academy



Press Release

Charleston Water System (CWS) is accepting applications from current water or wastewater customers for its inaugural Citizens Academy through August 16 at Forty applicants, ages 18 and up, will be selected to participate in this free, six-week interactive program to be held 6 pm to 8 pm Tuesday evenings at various CWS facilities September 17th through October 22nd.

CWS designed its Academy to expand customer access to the utility through education and hands-on activities. Participants will become knowledgeable about key water issues, daily operational activities and challenges, and regional long-term strategies through interaction with CWS executives, department leaders, and staff working in the community.

“The Citizens Academy strengthens our connection to the community, illustrates our commitment to customer education and transparency, and communicates the incredible value of water,” said Kin Hill, CEO at CWS. “Utility operations are fascinating and very few people understand what it takes to bring safe, reliable, and affordable drinking water to their homes, provide fire protection services, or to safely handle wastewater and protect the environment.”

“Academy graduates will have all of their questions answered and they’ll be the smartest person in the room or at their community association meeting when conversation turns to water, sewer, or other utility operations,” said Evelyn Ferguson, CWS director of customer service. “We hope to create and sustain a diverse network of influencers and ambassadors who can also refer others to the Academy.”

All sessions offer dinner and refreshments at 5:30 pm with class starting promptly at 6 pm.

  • Tue., Sept. 17
    • Program kickoff: Who we are and what we do.
    • CWS Administration Building: 103 St. Philip St., Charleston, SC 29403
  • Tue., Sept. 24
    • CEO for a day
    • This session will last until 8:30 p.m.
    • CWS Administration Building: 103 St. Philip St., Charleston, SC 29403
  • Tue., Oct. 1
    • What’s in your water and how it’s treated
    • Hanahan Water Treatment Plant: 1104 Hanahan Rd., Hanahan, SC 29406
  • Tue., Oct. 8
    • How water gets to and from your home.
    • CWS Hobson Operations Center: 1256 Supply St., North Charleston, SC 29405
  • Tue., Oct. 15
    • Wastewater treatment is fascinating!
    • CWS Administration Building: 103 St. Philip St., Charleston, SC 29403
  • Tue., Oct. 22
    • Customers are #1; graduation ceremony.
    • CWS Administration Building: 103 St. Philip St., Charleston, SC 29403

The selection process is competitive and acceptance is not guaranteed. A total of 40 customers will be accepted, with the greatest availability reserved for general customers as well as community leaders including home owner’s association management, neighborhood association officers, and other customers capable of sharing information with large audiences, which maximizes the Academy’s reach. Applicants will be notified if they are accepted by August 30. Those not selected will also be notified and considered for future Academy offerings.

“We expect strong interest because our customers tell us they want expanded communication and educational opportunities,” said Chris Hendricks, CWS assistant director of customer service. “We’re always excited to interact with customers and we hope to grow our Academy’s class size or increase the frequency of this program in the future because providing a high quality education program is at the heart of our mission to support public health and protect the environment.”

Participation is voluntary and not subject to any form of monetary compensation. CWS is an equal opportunity employer and the selection process does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, religious creed, gender, gender identity or expression, marital status, sexual orientation, national origin, pregnancy, age, genetic information, disability, military status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal, state, or local law.

Founded in 1917, CWS is a public water and wastewater utility employing more than 430 employees who provide water service to more than 450,000 people and sewer service to more than 180,000 people in greater Charleston.

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