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Duncan’s NRWA to Receive Nearly $7 Million to Support Water Infrastructure & Workforce Improvements in Oklahoma

October 8, 2021
Press Release

Moore, OK – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) congratulated the National Rural Water Association (NRWA), headquartered in Duncan, after it was announced that the non-profit will receive two federal grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development, totaling nearly $7 million. Both awards come from the Water and Waste Disposal Technical Assistance and Training grant program, which provides funding to qualified non-profits for projects and training to solve water and waste-related issues.

The first award, totaling more than $4.5 million, of which a portion of will support efforts in Payne County to establish a set of highly skilled water workers to ensure water infrastructure is strong, modern, safe and sustainable for the communities. The program will also help create jobs in the area, advance technological innovation at small water and wastewater systems and create economic development opportunities.

The second award, totaling more than $2.6 million, of which a portion of will support projects in Stephens County to develop rural communities and grow local economies as well as enhance the sustainability of utility system governance, management and operations through project development and the delivery of the Sustainable Utility Management program and hands-on technical assistance.

“I am delighted that the Fourth District’s own National Rural Water Association will receive substantial funding from the USDA to support water infrastructure improvements and strengthen the workforce in two key areas of our state,” said Congressman Tom Cole. “Along with paving the way for the creation of jobs and increasing economic opportunities statewide, the investment in rural Oklahoma will help maintain safe water and modern and sustainable infrastructure for the future.”

“Investments to strengthen Oklahoma’s workforce and improve water infrastructure are important to communities across our great state,” said Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03), whose district includes Payne County. “I’m thankful for the work done by the National Rural Water Association and USDA’s Office of Rural Development. These investments will create jobs, improve the public health and safety of our rural communities, and lay the groundwork for innovative water systems across Oklahoma.”

“The National Rural Water Association is committed to supporting rural America and Rural Water. Receiving federal funding is imperative to continue the essential work water and wastewater professionals provide each and every day, and we look forward to promoting and supporting them any way we can,” said Matt Holmes, NRWA Chief Executive Officer.

“NRWA is excited to continue providing essential programs like Technical Assistance and Training to our wastewater systems in America. Many of these systems are in our smallest and most disadvantaged communities, which have limited access to the training and expertise that we facilitate between communities across the country,” said Vern Steel, NRWA Chief Operating Officer.

“The NRWA Apprenticeship Program provides the rural water and wastewater systems a framework to create training and development strategies, succession planning, and learning opportunities. The federal funds that support these apprenticeship efforts is an investment in the quality of life in rural America that improves our water and wastewater infrastructure by attracting, training, and retaining the next generation of water and wastewater utility professionals that are essential to these communities,” said Shannan Walton, NRWA Apprenticeship Program Manager.