Chester panel considers training own water plant operators

CHESTER W.Va.– The city water and sewer committee discussed ways to develop employees at Tuesday committee meeting.

The committee approved City Council and Committee Member, Jason Thorn’s request for creating an education program to develop city employees. The plan is to develop a program so that employees can obtain a class two water operators licenses. Thorn acknowledged there is a shortage of class two operators in the state and instead of trying to pull from existing operators the city wants to train their own.

“We (the city) just spent a lot of money on infrastructure and we want to invest in our employees and to help develop and support them. It will better serve our employees and the long term health of the city,” Committee Member, Chuck Bailey said.

Bailey referenced the $1.35 million water and sewer line project the city completed this summer.

The tentative plan is to develop a training course that is closer to home than the state hosted courses in Charleston, and to create a contract where the city pays for the employees training in exchange for those employee staying with the city for a set period of time.

The committee announced they made no decisions during an executive session concerning personal matters. They also passed motions to; increase the hourly wage by 15 cents for the chief operator, and to interview and hire a full-time class two water operator and a part-time field operator at the water plant.