News | February 21, 2014

National Water And Engineering Orgs Join Forces To Launch Community Engineering Corps

Program will assist underserved communities in the US

In celebration of National Engineers Week, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Water Works Association and Engineers Without Borders USA announced recently the launch of a new program to help tackle a serious and growing challenge in the United States: small, underserved communities unable to afford the experts needed to meet basic infrastructure needs.

The Community Engineering Corps will bring volunteer engineering leaders together with these underserved communities in order to address critical needs and improve the quality of life for their citizens. Members of the three organizations will be able to volunteer their time and expertise to assist communities that do not have the resources to access engineering services. The project teams will have access to the systems and resources necessary to ensure the projects are done in a manner that meets all state and federal regulations.

“EWB-USA is excited to expand the scope of our field work to include underserved communities in the United States,” says EWB-USA Domestic Program Director Peter Waugh. “Our ability to achieve our vision of building a better world is strengthened and accelerated through our alliance with the other two premier engineering organizations in America.”

According to Randall S. Over, P.E., F.ASCE, president of ASCE, current pilot projects include developing a sanitation solution for isolated homes on a Navajo Reservation and helping a community mitigate the effect of flooding on a building. “Working under the guidance of experienced engineers, this initiative will provide young civil engineers unique opportunities to gain valuable hands-on experience in the field, while giving back and making a tangible difference in the lives of those living in underserved communities here in the United States,” said Over.

“The experience and dedication that each of these three organizations bring to the table makes this alliance incredibly powerful and AWWA is honored to have been included,” says AWWA Executive Director David LaFrance. “Our vision at AWWA is a better world through better water, and through the Community Engineering Corps we look forward to bringing that vision to life in each individual home and community that we will serve.”

“ASCE and its members have for many years supported and provided technical expertise for Engineers Without Borders projects overseas,” said Over. “Now as we partner with AWWA and EWB-USA on the creation of the Community Engineering Corps, we can harness the skills and talents of our members to make a difference in addressing community-based infrastructure needs here at home."

Additional information about the program, including volunteer and recipient applications, is available on EWB-USA's website(http://www.ewb-usa.org/what-we-do/CEC).

About The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) represents more than 145,000 civil engineers and affiliate members worldwide and is America's oldest national engineering society.

About The American Water Works Association (AWWA)
Established in 1881, the American Water Works Association (AWWA) is the largest nonprofit, scientific and educational association dedicated to managing and treating water, the world’s most important resource. With approximately 50,000 members, AWWA provides solutions to improve public health, protect the environment, strengthen the economy and enhance our quality of life.

About Engineers without Borders USA(EWB-USA)
Founded in 2002, Engineers without Borders USA (EWB-USA) supports community-driven development programs worldwide by collaborating with local partners to design and implement sustainable engineering projects, while creating transformative experiences and responsible leaders. Their 13,800 members work with communities to find appropriate solutions for water supply, sanitation, energy, agriculture, civil works, structures and information systems.

SOURCE: The American Water Works Association (AWWA)