Feb 24, 2014

Water, Engineering Organizations Launch Community Engineering Corps

Program will assist underserved communities in the U.S.

Community Eng. Corps AWWA ACSE Engineers Without Borders USA

In celebration of National Engineers Week, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ACSE), the American Water Works Assn. (AWWA) and Engineers Without Borders USA (EWB-USA) announced the launch of a new program to help tackle a serious and growing challenge in the U.S.: 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 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.

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,” he said.

“The experience and dedication that each of these three organizations brings 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,” Over said. “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.