By Cassie McClure
Published in Las Cruces Sun News 8.12.22
The newest signee to the Las Cruces Utilities (LCU) Internship Program, Jeremiah Avery, is moving to Las Cruces to continue to expand his college experience and to explore and cultivate his new career opportunities. On Friday, August 12, 2022, Avery signed on for his full scholarship to Doña Ana Community College in the Water Technology Program, and to simultaneously gain work experience with LCU.
“I’m excited to get both the college experience and long-term career opportunities,” said Avery, a Socorro High School graduate who had already taken online classes from Socorro, New Mexico. He explained that he has not yet determined a preference between water or wastewater yet, but he is ready to work in both and learn more about the science.
Avery was recognized at a signing ceremony Friday afternoon, August 12, 2022, at the LCU Administration Building. The competitive internships can be valued at up to $42,500 when considering housing, food, books, other fees associated with the program, and certifications. In addition, Avery will work up to 20 hours of paid work a week, working on the same assignments as regular crews - pending certifications that he will receive through working and testing.
“We want to instill in our interns the importance of taking this commitment to school and work seriously, we take it seriously too and celebrate them for making the choice,” said LCU Assistant Director Adrienne Widmer.
With the internship, Avery already has a steady job lined up after graduation since interns commit to working with LCU after graduation. Interns work anywhere from six months to nine years with LCU after graduation, depending on how much financial assistance they receive from the internship program. The graduates work in one of the following lines of business: Water Operations and Maintenance; Wastewater Operations and Maintenance; or Utilities Environmental.
The LCU Internship Program has been operating for about four years and has developed a handful of graduates. The scholarships help to ensure the continuation of reliable, safe drinking water for the City of Las Cruces, and reliable wastewater service for the future. Since New Mexico passed a bill in March 2022 that waived tuition for students attending in-state public schools or tribal colleges, LCU now has the potential to give even more opportunities for students interested in the internship in the future.
“A new stipulation is that all applicants must take at least two classes within the Water Technology program to give them an idea of what they’d be getting into,” said Widmer. “We have instructors from LCU who also teach at DACC and can answer real-world questions about what the work is like and if the opportunity would be right for the student.”
For more information on the LCU Internship Program: https://www.las-cruces.org/1243/Internship-Program.
LCU – Your Utility Connection. Customer Central can be reached at 575-541-2111 from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. LCU provides clean, safe, and reliable services to Las Cruces residents and businesses. Learn more at: las-cruces.org/180/Utilities
For emergencies, call Dispatch at 526-0500.
PHOTO 1: Surrounded by family, new LCU Intern Jeremiah Avery signs his contract to join the LCU Internship Program next to LCU Director Delilah Walsh.