Perris, Calif.— Eastern Municipal Water District (EMWD) has received a California Awards for Performance Excellence (CAPE) Silver Level award from the California Council for Performance Excellence (CCE). EMWD joins 11 other companies that earned recognition at Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Prospector levels this year.
Only two public utilities have won at the Silver Level, with EMWD leading the way in 2005. EMWD's strengths, cited by CCE, include strategic planning, customer focus and leadership .
"This award signifies EMWD's commitment to providing essential services to our community at a level that exceeds the performance of any other public or private utility through continuous improvement," said EMWD General Manager Anthony J. Pack. "The CCE sent nine CAPE examiners to EMWD facilities for four days and interviewed 284 employees out of around 650. Spending that much time with us provided a thorough evaluation of our organizational practices."
Acting as a top-rated utility requires practices that can always be improved, according to David J. Slawson, EMWD board president. "We are continually working to improve our services in order to better serve our customers," he said. CCE is a non-profit foundation dedicated to helping California's private companies and public sector agencies achieve world-class results. CCE assesses and recognizes organization excellence through the CAPE program based on the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award criteria.
Established in 1987, the Baldrige Award was named after Malcolm Baldrige, who served as U.S. Secretary of Commerce from 1981 until his death in 1987. Baldrige's contributions of efficiency and effectiveness in government inspired the creation of the Malcolm Baldrige program. The Baldrige program emphasizes visionary leadership, customer-driven excellence, organizational and personal learning, valuing employees as partners, agility, and focus on the future.
This is the third CAPE award for EMWD, which received a bronze-level award for its first application in 2003. The organization's 2007 score jumped significantly — scoring in the low 500-point range compared to the low 400-point range received by EMWD in 2005.
According to Slawson, "Our involvement in the Baldrige program has given us the opportunity to really focus our efforts in the most important areas."
"We are continuously working on opportunities to enhance EMWD's performance for our customers as well as our employees' working environment," said Pack, who noted that EMWD expects to resubmit a CAPE application again in the future. EMWD will be formally recognized at the CCE Awards Conference on March 28, 2008.
EMWD is the freshwater, wastewater service and recycled water provider to a 555-square-mile area from Moreno Valley southward along the I-215 corridor to Temecula and eastward to Hemet and San Jacinto. Approximately 660,000 people live and work in this area. In addition to its own water customers, EMWD supplements water to eight local water agencies and municipalities that have their own water departments. EMWD operates four water reclamation facilities and treats some 45 million gallons of wastewater daily.