Fayetteville Public Utilities (FPU) hosted its first Student Utility Board (SUB) meeting for the 2019-2020 school year, their orientation day, on Aug. 15 at FPU’s office.
This day included a tour of FPU’s West College Street facility and an overview of how FPU serves the community.
The seven high school seniors serving on the 2019-2020 Student Utility Board are Carly Andrews, Will Ellis and Libby Quick of Fayetteville High School, Clayton Ashley, Hailie Moore and Jake Sorrells of Lincoln County High School and Alyssa Hampton of Riverside Christian Academy.
Throughout the year, FPU’s youth board will focus on and tour different utility department operations, telecommunications, customer service and FPU’s Channel 6. Students will visit off-site locations such as FPU’s water treatment plant, wastewater treatment plant, a natural gas gate station and an electric substation.
Students will watch, listen and learn as utility employees explain the responsibilities of their jobs in each department. They will gain hands-on experience in customer service as they spend time in both the administrative and engineering departments. The program includes 10 regular monthly meetings, and the students are encouraged to participate in other FPU activities and community events.
“Students will not only learn about our daily operations and safety procedures, but also about some of the current issues the utility faces including costs of providing services and changing technology,” said FPU’s CEO and General Manager Britt Dye.
“This meeting was a great first experience as an FPU SUB member. I enjoyed getting to go be-hind the scenes and see FPU’s inner workings,” said SUB member Jake Sorrells.
Students also got their first experience with FPU’s Channel 6 during their first meeting. The SUB members shot a commercial which will air on Channel 6 and several local cable channels. It will also air on local radio stations.
“These students are our future community leaders and utility customers,” said Dye. “We want them to see from the inside what FPU is and what we do for the community each day. Not only do we plan to share information with these students about FPU, but we also hope to gain knowledge from them as to how we can better serve them in the years ahead.”