AWWA Articles

CECorps campaigning for more community infrastructure projects

AWWA’s Community Engineering Corps (CECorps) program is celebrating the fifth year of its alliance with Engineers Without Borders USA and the American Society of Civil Engineers by launching a new volunteer outreach and training campaign

The campaign will be announced May 13 during Infrastructure Week and is called “What’s in My Backyard?” (WIMBY). Funded by a United Engineering Foundation grant, the Community engineering Corpscampaign will engage alliance organization volunteers and provide them with training through online and in-person workshops.

“We want to give volunteers the resources and skills to work with underserved rural and urban communities in their own backyard on technical and engineering projects,” said Stephen Barr, AWWA manager of community engineering programs.

AWWA sections and volunteers currently manage 10 water infrastructure projects across the country, one of which is an assessment of wastewater lagoon systems in Illinois led by an array of technical experts in the Illinois Section.

“The WIMBY campaign will empower individuals to find, develop and implement CECorps projects within their own Section, and get volunteer projects off the ground just as the team in Illinois did this year,” Barr added.

Clare Haas Claveau, CECorps’ program director, said the WIMBY campaign “unites our volunteers under a common desire to make an impact on local infrastructure and the lives of individuals in underserved communities.”

The AWWA Alaska Section recently completed a project to bring the drinking water system of a community trailer and recreational vehicle park into compliance. (Pictured, student volunteer Joshua Rathbun at a well)

“AWWA volunteers provided the Snowed Inn RV park with engineering services it would not have been able to afford,” Barr said. “This allowed the system to be brought into compliance, protected the health of the public, and provided the Section and volunteers with valuable experience while assisting an underserved community.”

Please contact Stephen Barr to schedule a WIMBY workshop, presentation or outreach event for your Section or annual conference.