Charlotte Water Employee Spotlight: Sherri Jones and Hayley Williams

Dedication and perseverance are what we’re all about here at Charlotte Water. It’s what we look for when bringing in new talent to join our workforce. Our second group of apprentices exhibited just that before even beginning their work with us.

Charlotte Water’s Apprenticeship Program is a year-long program that, if completed successfully, guarantees a job upon completion. Training Specialists, Sherri Jones and Hayley Williams, began working with the cohort of nine new apprentices who started their program on June 29. Initially, the program was scheduled to begin on April 15, but due to COVID-19, their start date was put on hold. As weeks passed, the focus was on finding a way for the apprentices to start the program. Sherri and Hayley knew how important it was to begin their journey with the program and build that momentum and camaraderie. So when the new start date was finally set, it was encouraging to see that the nine apprentices were still eager and willing to begin the program.

Training Specialists Hayley Williams (left) and Sherri Jones (right)

Due to social distancing measures, the class was split into two groups for the training’s classroom portion, with Sherri and Hayley training the respective groups. Once the classroom training was complete, they moved into the boot camp portion of the training, which will last through September 21. The next step is on-the-job training, which will continue through the remainder of the program.

Apprentices learn about Defensive Driving during their classroom training

Throughout the program, Sherri and Hayley have worn many hats – they are not only trainers, but they have been the most prominent supporters and cheerleaders for the apprentices. They are there from day one to make sure they have all of the resources available to succeed. Sherri and Hayley meet with the apprentices every three months for formal evaluations, ensure they are meeting their benchmarks, and provide them with ongoing support along the way.

Sherri’s philosophy for the program is the “3 R’s” – return on investment, retention, and referrals. The apprenticeship program is not only an excellent opportunity for the apprentices, but also for our existing employees, and even former apprentices. This year, two former apprentices served as back-up trainers, and former apprentices have already been promoted since completing the program. Apprentices will often refer others outside of the organization to apply for jobs at Charlotte Water.

The apprenticeship program provides the cohort with a sense of fellowship and support throughout the year. Even with a 30-year age span among this group, they all have commonalities that help them develop into a team. We are excited to see the great things that this group will accomplish and bring to the future of Charlotte Water.

Learn more about the apprenticeship program here:

Creating Utility Careers: Charlotte Water’s Employment Programs

Charlotte Water’s Apprenticeship Program