Employee Testimonial: David Nicholson
Meet David, an Operator B at Waste Water Treatment Plant 3. Here’s his Winter Haven story in his own words:
I grew up in Newcastle Upon Tyne, in the United Kingdom. Upon graduating high school, I joined the Merchant Navy, and spent the next 17 years working on a variety of different types of ships, on every continent and in many countries across the globe. I moving to Winter Haven in 2006, and I immediately felt at home. After starting and growing my own business, I wanted a new challenge and decided to come and work for the City of Winter Haven, to be a stronger part of the community in which I live, work and play.
As part of the Leadership Winter Haven program in 2012, I toured Wastewater Treatment Plant #3 and was fascinated by the process in how we take sewage and turn it into clean re-useable water. In 2019 I was ready for that new challenge to begin; I sold my business, and came to work for Winter Haven Water – it has been a great move both professionally and personally.
I love to learn new things, and one of the factors which attracted me to the role was that we have opportunities to learn on the job and take State exams too. We are encouraged to be a lifelong learner and I have obtained the industry licenses needed to make my career in wastewater a successful one and to ensure I have as much technical knowledge as I can to be a useful member of our crew.
One of the things I missed when self-employed was working in a team. So I was thrilled to be accepted into the team of operators at Wastewater Treatment Plant #3, the folks here are a really exceptional group, they took the time to train me and together, every day, 24/7, we make sure the plant runs smoothly, processes the City’s waste effectively and stays within permitted limits for FDEP. We work with our maintenance crew to make sure the machinery in the plant keeps running smoothly to enable all this to happen. While the work is challenging and every day is different, it keeps things fresh, which I love, because learning new ways to do things and gaining new skills is really motivating and ensures no day is ever dull. The team work – both within the plant and across the City makes this an outstanding place to work.
I’m passionate about Winter Haven Water and my career here, because I truly feel like I am making a difference in my City. The water industry will always be around and technology will continue to advance, so there will always be something new to learn and a need for quality people to keep our rivers and lakes clean and provide clean, safe water to the residents of Winter Haven.
There are many opportunities working for the City, if you are driven, and want to make a difference, this is a great place to work. Working at the City gives me the chance to make a difference in my community, which is the reason why I come to work every day.