American Water Joins P4A

First Water Utility to Train with Union Program

Recognizing the importance of safety and skills training for UWUA members, the National UWUA and American Water Works have entered into a 5-year agreement that will allow the UWUA Power for America Training Trust Fund (P4A) to provide training opportunities for UWUA members across AWW’s water and wastewater operations.

“P4A is excited to work with AWW to develop and provide training opportunities,” says UWUA Executive Vice President and P4A Trustee Steven VanSlooten. This new partnership comes at a perfect time for P4A and AWW.”

P4A wins DOL safety grant 
The announcement of AWW’s agreement to join P4A came at the same time that P4A was awarded a Susan Harwood Department of Labor grant that will incorporate the Systems of Safety training to center on the Construction Focus Four safety areas. Prior to joining P4A, American Water saw the importance of safety training and provided a letter of support for P4A’s efforts to obtain a Susan Harwood grant.

“As we all know, utility workers play a critical role in rebuilding the utility infrastructure throughout the country. Although our work in the water and wastewater industries is often performed with little fanfare, it is critical to ensure employee and customer safety as we provide this critical service,” wrote William Komianos, sr. director, Health and Safety. Komianos went on to write that, “because of our shared interest in protecting our workforce as we rebuild the nation’s infrastructure, the union and management are committed to this training partnership.”

As a result of this grant, P4A is excited to train over 200 American Water UWUA members on how to improve safety in technology/trenching, fall protection, road work zones, electrocution hazards and the importance of hazard mapping/tailboarding.

According to Jonathan Harmon, P4A executive director, this is the first time that P4A has worked with a major company in the water sector. However, as Harmon points out, “Safe working conditions are the same no matter what sector of the utility industry. This Susan Harwood grant allows P4A to provide quality safety training for American Water’s UWUA members.”