Andy Ayala recently passed his Class IV Wastewater Operator license exam at Alexandria Renew Enterprises. Andy is a graduate of T.C. Williams High School. In addition to working at AlexRenew, Andy attends Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA), where he’s a student in business administration.
Before graduating from high school last year, Andy’s principal suggested he look into Alexandria Renew Enterprises Apprenticeship Program. He’s now on track to becoming an Operations Technician. The apprenticeship program 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 completing NOVA, Andy hopes to transfer to George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, and earn a bachelor’s degree in business administration. From there, he’d like to move up in his career, possibly in the wastewater industry.
The apprenticeship program includes spending time working in different parts of the facility. So far, Andy enjoys operating the huge centrifuge in the solids division. He also enjoys working with the ultraviolet (UV) disinfection system, where remaining pathogens are neutralized by UV light before flowing out of the facility to be released into Hunting Creek, a tributary to the Potomac River.
“This system allows us to use less chlorine, and releases clean water back into the watershed,” he said. “It’s good to help the community be putting cleaner water back into the Potomac.”
Andy is a native Alexandrian; his parents also live in the City.