HCWA and SCTC Celebrate the First Class of Summer Interns

After signing an agreement this spring to expand their partnership to include the creation of summer internships, officials from the Henry County Water Authority (HCWA) and Southern Crescent Technical College (SCTC) recently celebrated the first class to complete the program, by hosting an end of the term cookout at the Indian Creek Water Reclamation Facility, where most of the interns worked this summer.  

The SCTC-HCWA Summer Institute Internship Program brought a dozen local high school students one step closer to a potential career in the water industry. The first class of students to complete the program this year included: Braden Hicks, Joseph Green, Chad Davis, Jacob Shea, Ashton Hill, Davion Mallory, Reetchny Jean-Louis, Nilkanth Patel, Samuel McDaniel, Josiah Maddox, Xavier Drayton, and Ava Wimbush.

As participants in the paid internship program, these rising high school juniors and seniors learned specific job responsibilities in the fields of Industrial Systems Technology and Horticulture. By working as a paid program intern, students also received course credits that coincided with their work at the Authority. 

The summer term of the internship program began in late May and concluded in mid-July. While working in various departments and areas of HCWA operations this summer, the interns were assigned an HCWA employee mentor to help them with the day-to-day responsibilities of a water professional. Students also were able to take advantage of course financial aid, which was available through SCTC.

The Summer Institute Internship Program participants elaborated on both the knowledge they acquired and technical skills they developed after completing the program. As a result of participating in the internship program, Chad Davis noted the benefits of learning about the cycle of water, from water production and distribution to water reclamation and reuse. 

“I liked learning about how water is treated and all the steps and processes it goes through,” says Davis. “They treat the water, take samples to make sure it’s safe (at all points of the process), and then release it back into our streams. This (Internship Program) was a great opportunity to learn more about the Henry County Water Authority and gain some valuable work experience as well.”

“Everyone (at the HCWA) was great and taught me a lot,” says Davion Mallory, a senior at Spalding County High School. “I learned practically everything you wouldn’t know about the water industry. This (Internship Program) helped me apply all the knowledge I’ve gained in the classroom to the work experience I received at the Indian Creek Plant.”

The SCTC administration, as well as Authority officials, have noted how the Summer Institute Internship Program has been a win-win-win for students, the college, and the HCWA.

“This first Summer Internship Program ran really smoothly, thanks to the work of the Water Authority,” says Dr. Drew Todd, Associate Vice President of Enrollment at SCTC. “The feedback we’ve received from students and the Authority has been great.”

Dr. Xenia Johns, SCTC Vice President of Student Affairs, noted how pre-apprenticeship programs like this can help boost enrollment for the college, which she hopes will continue because of the SCTC-HCWA partnership.

“I underestimated the work of the Water Authority and didn’t know how much math and science are involved in this field, so I came away impressed by the job they (HCWA) do for our community,” says Dr. Johns. “It’s exciting, then, to be able to offer our students a work experience at the Water Authority. As a result, the students are pleased with what they are learning, and the Water Authority is pleased with the quality of students we are providing.”

HCWA General Manager Tony Carnell noted the importance of recruiting and retaining a talented and diverse work force in one of the fastest growing communities in the state.

“In addition to the growth we’ve experienced and the need to expand our workforce, we’re also facing unprecedented changes in technology and processes necessary to maintain excellent operations within our water utility,” says Carnell. “Creating additional urgency – at our utility and within our industry – we’ve been experiencing an increasing number of employees reaching retirement. I think this Summer Internship Program is critically important to connect our experienced, current work force with the next generation of water professionals, so this expertise can be passed down and won’t be lost to the detriment of our utility and community.”

For more information on the SCTC-HCWA Internship Program, prospective student interns can contact Dr. Drew Todd at Southern Crescent Technical College at 

Captions for photos (top to bottom)

Interns enjoy their last day at the HCWA Indian Creek Water Reclamation Facility following completion of the Summer Institute Internship Program, made possible by a partnership between the Henry County Water Authority and Southern Crescent Technical College.

Dr. Irvin T. Clark (left), President of Southern Crescent Technical College, and Tony V. Carnell (right), General Manager of the Henry County Water Authority, sign an agreement in May to commence the first Summer Institute Internship Program through a partnership between the College and the Authority.

Tamara Woodie (right), HCWA Director of HR and Risk Management, speaks with Jacob Shea (left) after the completion of the first Summer Internship Program. Shea also completed the HCWA Citizen Academy last year, which introduced him to these opportunities for internships and employment at the Authority.

Officials from the HCWA and SCTC join the first class of summer interns and their mentors during the kick-off of the Summer Institute Internship Program.


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