Local contractors working with CDM Smith, the engineering firm hired by the City of Shreveport to comply with the consent decree and rehabilitate/replace Shreveport’s aging sewer system, are enhancing their careers by what they are learning while doing the job. The Clean Water Shreveport Program has allowed locals to learn new technology; that knowledge will stay in Shreveport when the program is completed.
Trenchless technology, including Cured In Place Pipe Lining (CIPPL), is a relatively new (to Shreveport) technology that allows sewer pipes to be lined with a resin liner that’s very strong. Contractors can put it in a pipe from manhole to manhole rather than digging up someone’s yard. It’s not only fast, it’s saving the city millions of dollars. Right now, the City of Shreveport is using more trenchless technology than anyone in the country.
Local individuals and companies are learning this new technology, so that when the Clean Water Shreveport Program is finished they can use this knowledge on other projects. The program is lifting up local people so that they can compete better locally, regionally and even nationally.
Marvin Roberts graduated from Louisiana Tech in Engineering in 2010 and worked for Horton Construction. Originally from the Bahamas, Marvin has lived in Shreveport since his graduation.
After working for another construction company, he was recruited by CDM Smith in 2016 as a part of IMS Engineers to work on the Clean Water Shreveport Program, and started as a Residential Project Representative inspecting jobs. During this time, he took on the mission of becoming a student of the specifications and operation methods of the program team to better equip him to perform at his job. In August 2017 he was promoted to Assistant Construction Manager and is now a Construction Manager.
Marvin’s dream is pursuing his professional engineering license and working under the Clean Water Shreveport engineers has further encouraged him to accomplish that goal. His grandfather owned a construction company, and inspired him. He says, “It was never in me to do a halfway job.”
For 20 years, Dawn Cook worked in water treatment quality and construction inspection. With a degree in biology, she worked in water operations as a water quality supervisor in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kuwait among other places. When she applied for jobs in Shreveport, employers didn’t understand the value of that experience.
“I knew when CDM Smith was interviewing me that they immediately understood the value of my experience,” she said. She started with CDM Smith as a Residential Project Representative with IMS Engineers. She is now also a Construction Manager. Dawn has other skills as well, on the technical and administrative side, and her work with the Clean Water Shreveport Program has allowed her to utilize all her skills and learn more.
Because of what she has learned and how she has grown, Dawn will stay in Shreveport. Her work on the program has allowed her to gain experience and improve her career.
The City of Shreveport is finishing the work of Phase 1 of the Clean Water Shreveport Program, which was mostly completed in the Cedar Grove neighborhood. As the work continues, more local people will get opportunities to enhance their careers and improve the city at the same time.