Water for Jobs: It's a Way of Life 

By Karen Pallansch
April 26, 2013
 

 

The following are excerpts from Karen Pallansch’s closing remarks at the April 16 National Water Infrastructure Summit held in Washington.

 

When it comes to our water infrastructure, we certainly face regional and individual challenges. Yet we share a common goal in enabling clean and safe water for everyone. Collectively, we know how important water infrastructure is to the physical and fiscal health of our nation … and the people, businesses and jurisdictions each of us who spoke today proudly serve 24/7, 365 days a year.

 

We know that modern and dependable water infrastructure is a crucible for economic growth. It plays a vital role in driving prosperity, enabling a healthy community and creating jobs both in the short term and long term. … We all have a stake in that outcome; we must take steps together.

 

We know that replacing and refreshing our out-of-date water infrastructure will create jobs in a variety of economic sectors — such as research, engineering, construction, technology and manufacturing — and also emerging green industries that help us save on energy costs and be more sustainable. We know that our future utilities won’t look like they do today; they will manufacture miracles of energy, nutrients and other yet to be discovered opportunities from what we think of as, well, something to flush and forget, instead of as a sustainable resource for investment.

 

Investing in our water infrastructure can move the job-creation needle in the right direction … and that fact should be a major part of any national conversation about current and future economic
strength and prosperity. We need to keep the narrative of the importance and value of our water infrastructure fresh and compelling … and constant, not just among those of us that make this our day’s work but among those that can help us make a difference, from right here on Capitol Hill all the way to our neighbors and families.

 

At Alexandria Renew [Enterprises], I view our water infrastructure as this great taproot that helps nourish the economic activity above. It helps the city of Alexandria [Va.] to flourish … it helps it to create an overwhelming majority of good middle-class jobs in our profession as well as related industries. Businesses take a hard look at infrastructure, including reliable water infrastructure, when deciding where to locate. They look at health, safety and service. I know that you join with me in the belief that great communities need and deserve great water infrastructure and great water quality. One cannot exist without the other.

 

Our water infrastructure— the lifeblood of our businesses, our families, our America —is being compromised by a lack of focus, a lack of understanding, and a lack of commitment and desire to take a stand and make water our national priority. “Water for jobs” is not a bumper sticker for the water industry but something in which we passionately believe … and strive to achieve. Water for jobs means investing not just in jobs … but also investing in our families, in our communities … and in a better future for our country.

 04/26/2013Permanent link

Water for Jobs: It's a Way of Life (2)  ()
 

Investing in our water infrastructure can move the job-creation needle in the right direction … and that fact should be a major part of any national conversation about current and future economic
strength and prosperity.

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Water for Jobs: It's a Way of Life (2)

 Permanent link

Water for Jobs: It's a Way of Life 

By Karen Pallansch
April 26, 2013
 

 

The following are excerpts from Karen Pallansch’s closing remarks at the April 16 National Water Infrastructure Summit held in Washington.

 

When it comes to our water infrastructure, we certainly face regional and individual challenges. Yet we share a common goal in enabling clean and safe water for everyone. Collectively, we know how important water infrastructure is to the physical and fiscal health of our nation … and the people, businesses and jurisdictions each of us who spoke today proudly serve 24/7, 365 days a year.

 

We know that modern and dependable water infrastructure is a crucible for economic growth. It plays a vital role in driving prosperity, enabling a healthy community and creating jobs both in the short term and long term. … We all have a stake in that outcome; we must take steps together.

 

We know that replacing and refreshing our out-of-date water infrastructure will create jobs in a variety of economic sectors — such as research, engineering, construction, technology and manufacturing — and also emerging green industries that help us save on energy costs and be more sustainable. We know that our future utilities won’t look like they do today; they will manufacture miracles of energy, nutrients and other yet to be discovered opportunities from what we think of as, well, something to flush and forget, instead of as a sustainable resource for investment.

 

Investing in our water infrastructure can move the job-creation needle in the right direction … and that fact should be a major part of any national conversation about current and future economic
strength and prosperity. We need to keep the narrative of the importance and value of our water infrastructure fresh and compelling … and constant, not just among those of us that make this our day’s work but among those that can help us make a difference, from right here on Capitol Hill all the way to our neighbors and families.

 

At Alexandria Renew [Enterprises], I view our water infrastructure as this great taproot that helps nourish the economic activity above. It helps the city of Alexandria [Va.] to flourish … it helps it to create an overwhelming majority of good middle-class jobs in our profession as well as related industries. Businesses take a hard look at infrastructure, including reliable water infrastructure, when deciding where to locate. They look at health, safety and service. I know that you join with me in the belief that great communities need and deserve great water infrastructure and great water quality. One cannot exist without the other.

 

Our water infrastructure— the lifeblood of our businesses, our families, our America —is being compromised by a lack of focus, a lack of understanding, and a lack of commitment and desire to take a stand and make water our national priority. “Water for jobs” is not a bumper sticker for the water industry but something in which we passionately believe … and strive to achieve. Water for jobs means investing not just in jobs … but also investing in our families, in our communities … and in a better future for our country.

Posted by Jonathan Byus at 04/26/2013 02:23:46 PM | 


Comments

karenpallansch.JPGPosted by Karen Pallansch, Chief Executive Officer, Alexandria Renew Enterprises (Alex Renew) 

Ms. Pallansch currently serves as chief executive officer for Alexandria Renew Enterprises, one of the most advanced water reclamation facilities in the United States. As chief executive officer, Ms. Pallansch leads a team of more than 100 employees on a 33-acre campus that renews 13 billion gallons of wastewater per year. She has served in her current capacity since October 2005 and has worked at Alexandria Renew Enterprises for more than 20 years. 

During her decade of service as CEO, Ms. Pallansch led an organizational repositioning and rebranding effort that incorporated a successful public-developer partnership, creating a neighborhood from an industrial area that once served as the City landfill.

Prior to leading AlexRenew, Ms. Pallansch worked in various roles at the agency, starting as the staff engineer. She also worked for the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality as a senior engineer and engineer with the Department of the Army, managing rehabilitation of army ammunition bases and conducting research that helped to improve the safe and efficient production of explosive materials.

Ms. Pallansch holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Master’s Degree in Business Management from Texas A & M University, Texarkana. She is a registered engineer in Virginia, has a Class I wastewater license, and is Board Certified in Environmental Engineering by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers. 


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