About us

Professional Training Association (PTA) is a non-profit organization supporting rural development and communities. Our focus is on small to mid-sized utilities, to which we offer training and technical assistance.

PTA has chosen smaller rural plants because smaller plants cover the majority of the water and wastewater treatment needs in this country. They are also the least operationally and financially able to allow their limited number of operators to attend long distance or out of state multi-day workshops. Training for the small plant operators is virtually nonexistent because it is not financially viable for the large commercial training groups to give classes to a smaller class size.

Our Board consists of 5 Directors, 4 of which have extensive experience working for governmental organizations and utilities. Together our Directors have over 100 years of experience working in and for water and wastewater utilities. Our instructors add hundreds of years to that making PTA a powerful source of career building training for the water and wastewater professional and utilities, a critical infrastructure that we all depend on daily and which is experiencing a serious decline in the number of trained operators qualified to keep these plants open.

PTA was designed to be a non-profit organization specifically to operate through grants, donations, volunteers, as well as colleges and water and wastewater facilities’ offering space to hold classes.

Our instructors are comprised of retired and active but extensively experienced water and wastewater professionals dedicated to help reinvigorate the field with educational opportunities previously unheard of for smaller rural plants.

PTA’s training is designed to be of high value and quality, provide detailed information, and address deficiencies in the areas of “process-related” training, capacity building, regulatory compliance, asset management, resiliency, etc. We have two basic expectations for our courses: they won’t be “yet another check mark exercise” AND all material must be presented in such a manner that the audience can relate to it! To accomplish this we will incorporate as many hands on exercises as possible and every session will directly relate to what the participants deal with on a daily basis.

PTA’s workshops are offered throughout the year Monday through Friday during daytime hours. As mentioned earlier, our primary focus is to provide training and technical assistance to rural communities and small to mid sized utilities. To make training more accessible to smaller operations we will offer the majority of our workshops in Washington’s rural areas.

In order to make these training efforts as successful as possible we will closely collaborate with everyone involved in utility operations, including regulators, operators, managers, engineers, decision makers, consultants, and other Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). Our approach is not to compete with other organizations such as PNCWA, ERWOW, AWWA, WEF, etc. and / or duplicate efforts, but to collaborate and supplement each other. We probably agree that there is a tremendous need for education and training for utility operations and the organizations currently providing these services are doing an excellent job in delivering outstanding training. Resources, however, are limited and all organizations are struggling with having to prioritize outreach and support efforts. Since the focus of our organization is the improvement of utility operations, we are invested in collaborating with all parties involved with utilities operations. PTA firmly believes that, if our organizations collaborate instead of compete, we can maximize our efforts in supporting our State’s utilities.

We are committed to:

  • Empower water professionals by providing high quality and value education, training, and technical assistance to the water sector.

  • Provide managers, administrators, and decision makers with opportunities to learn about workforce development, project management, capacity development, emergency planning, innovative utility management and financing strategies, funding resources, grant and loan management, and more.

  • Engage in active succession planning efforts to assure our utilities will have qualified professionals to operate their facilities for generations to come.

  • Offer training and assistance to water and wastewater systems to improve their emergency preparedness, resiliency, and sustainability.