044: Why the Value of Water Could be Your Key to Attracting and Retaining Talent with Jorge Rodriguez

Jorge Rodriguez is a passionate (obsessive?) water guy. He is a Zillenial that refuses to acknowledge he’s a millennial. Jorge was born and raised in Puerto Rico and is a professional civil engineer and program manager with 14 years of experience in water and sewer infrastructure projects. Over the last 11 years, he’s been working with a company called Pure Technologies, a Xylem company. He’s enjoyed working with water and wastewater utilities all over the U.S. and some other countries. His role is to help them understand the condition of their large pressurized transmission systems and make decisions on renewing or replacing such assets.

Top Takeaways:

Use your excitement and passion for the industry to be what attracts and retains the next generation of water professionals.

Good ideas come from everywhere. You may be an engineer and not a communicator on paper, but your ideas can help communicate the value of water. Share them.

We all take water for granted, even those of us who work in the industry. Internal communication is just as important as your external outreach program. Remind your people the vital role they play in delivering the most important services directly impacting public health.

Show Notes:

[5:30] Jorge, like many of us, just fell into the water industry. Hear this story.

[9:20] Hear some of the ways Jorge is engaging with the young professionals on his team.

[14:50] Jorge talks about why it is so important to spend the time to make connections with our customers and to put ourselves in their shoes.

[16:55] How they work with underserved communities.

[22:00] Jorge talks about attracting and retaining the next gen.

[26:10] Jorge talks about partnering with utilities in their communication and outreach efforts. He gives some examples of their informal education program including a hydraulic model and quizzing people on their water source.

[32:38] This one is for all the water nerd spouses out there. Thank you for putting up with our water nerdness.

[35:24] Jorge gives us his personal take on what it was like going through Hurricane Maria with family on the island.

[40:58] We ask Jorge about his favorite conference experience in 2018. Hear why he chose a non-water conference and the power of being a water nerd amongst non-water folks.

Resources:

Alone Together: Sailing Solo to Hawaii and Beyond by Christian Williams

Sponsor:

This episode is powered by Rogue Water, the public communication company founded by the H2duO, Stephanie Zavala and Arianne Shipley. Rogue Water is dedicated to revolutionizing the water industry—one person, one story, one experience at a time. We are award-winning communication professionals with a decade of experience working in water utilities moving the needle forward in communication, outreach, and education to build stronger relationships between the water sector and the public it serves. These relationships serve as the foundation needed to make the necessary changes that create a sustainable water future for all. Are you ready to go Rogue?


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