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Adding value – Water district aims to maximize employee potential

Western Municipal Water District considers its employees its greatest asset. According to district General Manager John Rossi, it is the district’s commitment to maximizing the potential of this asset that helped the district become one of The Press-Enterprise’s Top Workplaces for 2016.

“Our goal is to develop and implement programs that add value to the district and its employees, leading to improved employee morale, empowerment, growth and retention,” Rossi said. “Western management is committed to fostering an environment for employees where mutual respect is paramount, and employee support and development are fundamental to our core culture.”

Rossi noted that Western’s leaders support learning and growth, encourage new ideas and enable employees to work at their full potential. The management team’s goal is to help employees thrive and continue to make the district a great place to work.

The district offers a variety of advancement opportunities for qualified candidates, and professional growth through voluntary education is also encouraged. Partnerships with local universities provide employees with discounted tuition and tuition reimbursement. The district also supports required education toward licensing and certification and sponsors participation in seminars, workshops and conferences. Additionally, a district-wide mentorship program pairs employees with management-level team members.

Employees participate in a variety of philanthropic endeavors through the district, such as the annual Toys for Tots drive; a United Way Day of Action Campaign; a picnic for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Inland Empire; the March Air Reserve Base’s Military Appreciation Day; and a “Smiles for Seniors” Bowl-a-Thon, raising funds for emergency assistance and safety services to low-income seniors.

Western Municipal Water District
Sector: Government
Employees in region: 148
Headquarters: Riverside
Founded: 1954


• Top Workplaces – The Press-Enterprise, 2016
• President’s Award – Municipal Information Systems Association of California. Awarded to Western MWD’s Director of Administration Greg Duecker, 2017
• Best in Blue Finalist – Association of California Water Agencies, 2016
• Fit Friendly Gold Award – American Heart Association, 2016
• Communicator of the Year Award – California Association of Public Information Officials. Awarded to Communications Manager Rachel McGuire, 2016
• Polaris Awards – Public Relations Association of America, Inland Empire chapter. Various awards from 2010 to present
• Awards of Excellence – California Association of Public Information Officials. Various awards from 2010 to present
• Excellence in IT Practices – California Society of Municipal Finance Officers of Excellence. Various years from 2010 to present
• CAFR and Budget program winners – Municipal Information Systems Association of California. Various years from 2010 to present

What employees enjoy

• “The meaningful type of work we do and how rewarding it is.”
• “The organization encourages and fosters excellence and values the employees.”
• “The people I work with, respect I'm given, the value of my individual role and the value of the company as a whole.”
• “There is an excellent work/life balance, we provide an essential public need, great people, excellent pay and benefits.”
• “They genuinely want you to excel at Western. They are friendly, helpful, and considerate.”
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