Callawegians graduate from wastewater apprenticeship program

Submitted photo: Chris Hunter

Three Callaway County residents graduated from the Missouri Rural Water Association's (MRWA) apprenticeship program on Aug. 11.

Jeremiah "Jay" Lashley of Holt's Summit, Chris Hunter and Billie Jean Stallings of Fulton "successfully completed all requirements to become a Journeyman Wastewater Systems Operation Specialist," according to a MRWA release.

Billy Everett, MRWA apprenticeship coordinator, said there were 13 total graduates spanning 10 different Missouri counties that graduated at the ceremony in Lebanon.

The MRWA apprenticeship is a two-year program registered with the U.S. Department of Labor that included both learning in the classroom and "hands-on training modules," Everett said.

As a part of the program, graduates earn state-approved licenses and several different certifications, Everett said. Apprentices also took three college courses through the Office of Water Programs at Sacramento State.

Two of the certifications graduates received at the graduation ceremony were U.S. Department of Labor certifications and MRWA journeyman certifications.

Since the apprenticeship is a relatively new program, Everett appreciates that the City of Fulton carried "the long-term vision" of the program.

National Rural Water Association Director of Workforce Development Shannan Walton was the keynote speaker of the apprenticeship graduation.

  photo  Submitted photo: Billie Jean Stallings
  photo  Submitted photo: Jeremiah Lashley