IRWA Breaks Ground for Technical Training Facility

Idaho Rural Water Association (IRWA) broke ground on its almost 11,000 square foot Technical Training Center located in Boise, Idaho on August 8, 2019.

This facility will be used to train incoming apprentices and help with emergency response hands-on education that will benefit small communities and rural areas all across Idaho. It will house both indoor and outdoor areas to accommodate classroom-style coursework and practical field training.

“By establishing a workforce training center, Idaho’s rural communities will have a dedicated source of trained workers prepared to take on the management and challenges associated with rural water infrastructure,” U.S. Senator Mike Crapo said as he previously commended IRWA for putting together .  a highly-merited proposal deemed worthy of investment by the Economic Development Administration.

In October 2018, U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) awarded a $1.4 million grant to IRWA. The remaining financial support is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development’s Community Facilities Loan Program.

When the announcement of the award came out, U.S. Senator James Risch (ID) stated, “This investment will create jobs and energize rural water in Idaho and the industries it supports. I look forward to seeing the positive impact it has on our community and business development for years to come.”

Sen. Risch’s Regional Director, Rachel Burkett, attended the Groundbreaking Ceremony alongside Casey Atteberry, State Director of Agriculture for U.S. Senator Mike Crapo, and Dirk Mendive, Regional Director for U.S. Representative Russ Fulcher.

“After many years of hard work and determination by the IRWA staff and Board of Directors, the vision of providing superior training opportunities for professionals in the drinking water and wastewater industry can now become a reality,” Shelley Roberts, IRWA CEO, stated as she thanked everyone who has been a part of this dream.

Those who have been most involved in this project participated in the ceremonious groundbreaking with shovels that includes: William (Brad) Richy, Director of the Idaho Office of Emergency Management, Idaho Military Division; Layne R Bangerter, State Director of Idaho, U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development; Shelley Roberts, CEO Idaho Rural Water Association; Robert Dial, Board President, Idaho Rural Water Association; Silvia Morrow, VP Branch Manager, D. L. Evans Bank Scott Henderson, Construction Manager, Pacific Source Construction; John Russ, Area Manager, Idaho Department of Labor; and Martin Hahle, AIA, President CSHQA.