Kacey King-McRae recently passed her Class III Wastewater Operator license exam at Alexandria Renew Enterprises. She is part of AlexRenew’s apprenticeship program, which was developed to train workers, through classroom and hands-on experience, to learn the skilled trade of running a wastewater treatment facility effectively and efficiently. After nearly a year with AlexRenew, Kacey is on track to becoming an Operations Technician.
Kacey views the program as a second chance for her to move closer to her lifetime goal: to become an engineer. She studied chemistry at Columbia College in South Carolina, which did not offer an engineering program.
“I like learning about the different processes needed to clean water at AlexRenew,” she said. “Part of my training deals with chemistry. I test water and analyze results. I feel engaged in the process.”
Kacey said that early on in the program, she was working with her team on a night shift – AlexRenew operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – when the power went down. Power loss for a wastewater treatment facility can become a major problem because if the system comes to a halt, tanks can overflow.
“My team was so calm and matter-of-fact. Everyone was patient and I watched as they worked their way through solving the problem. It made me feel comfortable and safe to work with such a competent, professional group of people,” she said.
Kacey is a graduate of Columbia College in Columbia, SC, with a degree in chemistry. She is originally from Dillon, DC, where her family still lives. She’s a graduate of Dillon High School. She now lives in Indian Head, MD.