The goal of PWSA’s Public Affairs department is to enhance relationships with the many groups we work with outside of our organization, like elected officials, customers, local communities and neighborhoods, charitable organizations, unions, media, among many others.
Nick Letzkus, Public Affairs Associate, started with PWSA as an intern in 2018. In that role, he witnessed first-hand how complicated it can be working at a utility company - from field operations, engineering, customer service - it takes hard work, committment, and a passion to help people. Nick was up for the challenge and ready to juggle multiple responsibilities, including important communications to customers.
Nick was hired to his current position full-time in 2019. When he reflects on his time here, he feels a sense of pride in how far we’ve come in a relatively short amount of time.
“When I was an intern, I had the chance to work closely with our Community Lead Response team, who have since continued to work tirelessly to reach our goal of a lead-free water distribution system by 2026. Being part of such progress reminds me of just how worthwhile it is to work in public service,” Nick said.
One of Nick’s more time-consuming and complex tasks involves the daily robocalls to customers informing them of water outages that can suddenly leave them with no water. This is especially challenging during the freeze-thaw cycles of the winter months, when upwards of 10 emergency or planned water outages may occur any given day!
Many people do not realize the complexity of the behind-the-scenes communications to get information out to the public for water outages. It takes tireless, daily coordination with our Operations and Dispatch departments, as situations happen 24-hours a day and change very quickly.
Nick is the thread that connects the workers in the field making the repairs, the dispatchers who take the customer calls, and then making the robocalls to all impacted customers. PWSA calls customers for outages that are planned for construction work, or for the many emergency breaks that can result in a water service outage or significant street closure.
Nick also provides support to the Public Affairs department by monitoring and providing reports on PWSA coverage in the media, responding to inquiries on social media, and writing for our monthly Currents publications!
“I’ve always been more inclined towards a career where I can develop my written and verbal communication skills,” he said. “In college, I took a lot of English writing classes, and I’m thrilled that I can continue to develop these working in the Public Affairs department at PWSA.”
One of Nick’s favorite challenges is being tasked with writing about someone or something that is unfamiliar. This provides an opportunity to reach out to different people in the organization get a deeper understanding of other departments and functions.
When Nick is not in the office, he is looking forward to the warm weather and planning trips involving hiking, canoeing, golf, and other outdoor ventures. Although he has always enjoyed these activities, he now appreciates them even more, since they are often the only safe way to let off steam during the pandemic.
“I feel great pride in how far we have come as an organization. Being part of such progress reminds me of how worthwhile it is to work in public service.” - Public Affairs Associate