Fayetteville’s public utility is encouraging its employees to become more involved in the community.
On Wednesday morning, the Fayetteville Public Works Commission received an update on an initiative to begin tracking the time its workers are engaged in civic organizations and community activities.
“PWC has a long history of community engagement,” said Carolyn Justice-Hinson, the spokeswoman and community relations officer for PWC, in a presentation to the commission. “We’ve done so much.”
“This is an official part of our strategic plan,” Justice-Hinson said.
A key part of the plan is to ensure PWC and its employees are active in civic, philanthropic and community-engagement activities “to showcase the value of PWC,” she said.
The initiative comes as public gatherings are returning after many of them were paused during the heigh of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Justice-Hinson noted the utility’s involvement over the years with the Fayetteville Dogwood Festival, which resumed last weekend in downtown Fayetteville after a two-year break. Other examples she cited are the Spouses in the Military Expo, N.C. Home Expo, Public Works Art Exhibit, and the Power and Water Conservation Expo.
PWC is engaged with more than 100 organizations, including United Way, Day of Caring, Day of Giving, Jay Walker golf tournaments, and the Fayetteville Woodpeckers minor league baseball team and concessions.
“This year, we’ve already supported over 40 projects,” said Justice-Hinson.
She added that the utility has given out 64,000 bottles of water, including 7,500 reusable bottles.
To help drive the initiative, PWC will begin tracking the hours of community engagement and the number of employees who are willing to take part in activities outside their work and home.
The goal for this year is a total of 1,300 hours, according to Justice-Hinson. So far, 28% of PWC’s workforce has been involved in the initiative.
Commissioner Don Porter applauded the plan.
“It’s great to see things going on here,” Porter said. “No one else is going to give you props if you don’t do it.”