DPW Wins Award for YH20 Water Mentoring Program

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Baltimore City Public Works Director Rudolph S. Chow, P.E., today announced that the agency has received the 2018 Water Environment Foundation’s (WEF) Public Communication and Outreach Program award for the YH20 Water Mentoring Program. This DPW program prepares young Baltimoreans for a career in the water industry. The award will be presented at the Water Environment Federation’s Annual Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC), which will be held later this year in New Orleans. The award recognizes WEF members and other organizations for significant accomplishments in areas that include public awareness, engagement and education. The YH20 program launched in January 2015 as the Baltimore City Water Industry Mentoring Program. It was re-branded with new logo and program title to be showcased as a national model as program inquiries mounted from water industry agencies. YH20 addresses the need for trained workers as seasoned professionals retire or leave the water industry.

DPW partnered with the Chesapeake Water Environment Association (CWEA) and the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development (MOED) to create YH20. Working together, these partners designed a program structured for Baltimore young adults that could benefit from career guidance and support. To date, 41 young adults have completed the program. These graduates are now permanent employees of the Baltimore City Department of Public Works, with a few working in Baltimore County government and in private water industry firms. YH20 is now in its fourth year with a class enrollment of nearly 20.

YH20 accepts applications in January and is open to young adults between the ages of 18 and 24, with a high school diploma or GED. Applicants must be unemployed or underemployed and not enrolled in a job training or post-secondary education program.

The Baltimore City Department of Public Works is a “Utility of the Future Today,” a designation maintained for innovative water utilities that provide consistent and resilient, value-added service to communities, particularly community engagement, partnering and watershed stewardship.

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