My sincere hope is that each of you had a wonderful holiday season and you are all looking forward to what the future holds in the new year.
I want to begin by expressing my thanks to the FWPCOA board of directors, and all the members of the association, for your support and confidence in electing me to serve as your president for 2017. I assure each of you that I will do my best to fulfill the responsibilities of the office.
Because the operator license renewal cycle for water treatment plant operators, wastewater treatment plant operators, and distribution system operators is rapidly coming to an end, remember that you must have the required number of continuing education units (CEUs) for renewal. All renewals must be done before May 1, 2017. May I suggest that each licensed operator double check the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) website (http://ocp.dep.state.fl.us/default.asp) to be sure that any CEUs you may have obtained over the past two years have been posted.
Don’t wait until the last moment; if you have taken a CEU course through an approved FDEP provider and your CEUs have not been posted, contact the training provider to determine why they haven’t. One thing to keep in mind is that any CEU training course that is taken must be approved through an authorized FDEP provider. There are courses out there that are being offered as CEU-approved, when in fact they are not; you may have taken an approved course in which the provider is not responsible for posting your CEUs. A list of these courses can be found on the FDEP website. If you have taken any of these courses, you must submit the CEU certificate of completion that you received at the time you took the course to the FDEP office of certification programs to get the CEU credits.
For your convenience, FWPCOA offers all flavors of approved courses in a number of different formats. The CEUs can be obtained by taking an online course, or if your utility has a large number of license operators in need of CEUs, the association can provide CEU training at your location for a flat fee for up to 25 persons in the class. Please check out our website at and click on the “Training” link, or contact our FWPCOA training office at 321-383-9690 for additional information.
I look forward to the challenges before us. It has always been and continues to be the mission of FWPCOA to provide the best, most affordable training courses available to all operators in all areas in the utility industry; courses that are taught by professionals with the hands-on experience required for practical application in the real world of work, as well as preparation for licensure exams at all levels. Pick up the phone and call our training office to see how FWPCOA can meet your training needs.
New Payment System
For those who are unaware, FWPCOA now allows the proceeds for credit card payments made for regional courses through www.fwpcoa.org to be sent directly to a designated regional bank account; no more processing credit card payments through the training office and then waiting for a reimbursement check from the state treasury.
Very shortly, we will be arranging direct reimbursement of a share of regional dues payments to each regional treasury. In other words, when a member renews via the FWPCOA website, the share of that member’s dues that goes back to the region will automatically be directed to its checking account—no more waiting for checks from me.
The Online Institute presently has 92 active courses and 332 registered students. For the 2017 license renewal cycle, the association has sold an average of 53 online courses per month, greater than the monthly average of 41 courses sold during the 2015 cycle. There was an increase in revenue for December 2016 when compared with December 2014—$2,135 versus $1,530. The average monthly revenue for the 2017 renewal cycle remains well above that of the 2015 cycle: $2,824 per month versus $2,284 per month, respectively.
Please continue to advise your members of the availability of the Online Institute in your newsletters and at your membership meetings and encourage operators to complete their CEU courses for the 2017 renewal cycle.
Please publicize the availability of these online short courses:
Utility Customer Relations I
Wastewater Collection C
Water Distribution Levels 2 and 3
The drinking water treatment plant operator Class B Online course is now active and enrolling students. Also, don't forget to mention the Class C treatment plant operator courses.
In closing, I invite each of you to become active in your association by attending your regional meetings and attending a board of directors meeting. Also, visit our website and tell us what’s on your mind, whether it be positive or negative. Tell us your training needs and what additional areas of training you would like to see our association offer. Remember that we are here to serve.