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Willie Chapman Named 2019 Athens-Clarke Public Works Employee of the Year

Willie Chapman

As part of National Public Works Week during May 19-25, the Athens-Clarke County Unified Government (ACCGOV) recognized Athens-Clarke County Transit employee Willie Chapman as the 2019 Public Works Employee of the Year. Chapman is a Maintenance Worker who has worked for ACC Transit for 12 years.

Five ACC government departments – Central Services, Public Utilities, Solid Waste, Transit, and Transportation and Public Works – are recognized annually during National Public Works Week for their service to the community.

"Our public works employees provide vital, innovative services to this community every day of the year at all hours of the day," said Athens-Clarke County Manager Blaine Williams. "They often do so under challenging circumstances and in all kinds of weather. Whether it is for routine maintenance, emergency situations, or new infrastructure work, these employees continually make the Unified Government and the community proud of the critical work they do that enables our residents and visitors to go about their daily lives."

"Every day Willie has a smile on his face, song in his heart, and positive words of encouragement," says Alex Crayton, Transit Operations Administrator. "It's humanly impossible to have a bad day when he is around. Willie's internal customer service and team play is beyond exceptional; there's never a time he fails to greet an employee or customer with a 'hello' and a smile. He always goes over and beyond his specific job duties and completes them all on time."

"Willie's attitude and work ethic keeps everybody upbeat and just puts everybody in good spirits," says Derick Gandy, Transit Maintenance Administrator and Chapman's supervisor.

"He takes pride in ensuring our buses are running and looking good, but he also makes sure our Pound Street facility is the same way every day," adds Crayton. "During cold months, Willie arrives to work early, starts all 40 vehicles and ensures the heat is on and working properly, just so the operators and staff would have a warm vehicle when they arrive to work."

For 2019, five finalists were nominated by their department for consideration as the Public Works Employee of the Year. The Manager’s Office selected an employee from the finalists who best demonstrated a positive attitude, exceptional performance and productivity, teamwork, and a high quality of work over the last year. Former Assistant Manager Jestin Johnson presented the finalists and the Employee of the Year with their recognition during a luncheon at the Transportation & Public Works’ Streets and Drainage Division facilities on Wednesday, May 22

The other finalists for the 2019 Public Works Employee of the Year Award honored at the luncheon were:

Mack Henderson, a Landscape Crew Leader with Central Services;Cleveland Lawrence, a Field Customer Service Representative with Solid Waste;Rodney Rogers, a Senior Traffic Signal Technician with Transportation and Public Works; andJerry Williamson, a Water Reclamation Operator II with Public Utilities.

The employee luncheon for Public Works Week was designed as a nearly zero waste event in conjunction with the ACC Solid Waste Department. Approximately 500 public works employees produced only 8.6 pounds of ‘trash.' The ACC Recycling Division diverted 27.4 pounds of organic material for composting, 37.4 pounds of materials for recycling, and 3.2 pounds of stretch wrap film plastic. A total of 68 pounds of waste from the luncheon was diverted from the landfill for an 88.8% waste diversion rate.

National Public Works Week began in 1960 as part of an initiative by the American Public Works Association to highlight the importance of public works within community life. The theme of National Public Works Week for 2019 was "It Starts Here."

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