Creating Utility Careers: Charlotte Water’s Employment Programs

Trust the process.” That is what Training Specialist Sherri Jones says to participants of Charlotte Water’s employment programs. Beginning a new career is never easy, but with the right mindset and tools for success, anything is possible.

Earlier this year, Charlotte Water began developing programs that would provide participants with on-the-job experience, and a clear path for training and success. Those programs are the Pipeline Academy and the Apprenticeship Program. Both programs offer a foundation for a successful career with Charlotte Water. But the main difference is that one program is able to guarantee employment upon successful completion, while the other cannot make that same guarantee.

The Pipeline Academy is our internship program. This program operates like other internship programs, in the sense that companies do not always guarantee that they will be able to offer you a job at the end of your placement. But, if you thrive, and there is an opportunity available, then every effort would be made to hire that participant. The academy’s first cohort of 10 interns started in February of 2019; 9 of the 10 interns completed in August, and all 9 were hired as full-time employees for Charlotte Water.

The Apprenticeship Program is similar to the Pipeline Academy, but this year-long program guarantees a job to participants upon successful completion. The only requirements to apply are that you are 18 years old, have a valid drivers licence, have a high school degree or GED, and you have the ability and passion to work hard and learn. Through the program, participants will have the ability to attend trainings, obtain certifications, obtain all city benefits, and have opportunities to grow and develop within Charlotte Water. As the program continues to grow and develop, Charlotte Water’s training specialists are partnering with others in the community to be able to provide wraparound services to its program participants.

Charlotte Water’s employment programs have been so successful that the City of Charlotte began a program called Career Pathways. Their first group included 49 interns across seven city departments.

Be on the lookout for upcoming spotlight stories on our past and present program participants!

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