Frequently Asked Questions about the WPLA Program

Class sizes are limited to 16 students composed of a mix of professionals in the water sector.

There are three parts that are to be completed as part of the application process: 1) the main application to be filled out by the prospective candidate (via this website's online form), 2) a minimum of two (2) references from colleagues, friends, etc., and 3) confirmation from the candidate’s employer acknowledging candidate’s commitment to their involvement in WPLA. All three parts are required for a complete application. Reminder emails will be provided to applicants if any pieces are missing prior to the application deadline. 

Six sessions will occur between the months of October through May (December and January are skipped due to holidays). Each session occurs on the third Thursday and Friday of the month from Thursday afternoon to Friday afternoon. The location of each session alternates between cities in Kentucky and Tennessee. Lastly, each class graduates at WPC during the Monday morning breakfast session and attends a group lunch program on Tuesday.

No. Anyone in the water sector is encouraged to apply, regardless of their role or years of experience. Whether you’re a rising star or a seasoned professional, anyone can benefit from the program.

All applications are reviewed anonymously by three (3) reviewers. To keep the class diverse, the top eight (8) scores from utilities and the top eight (8) scores from consultants, contractors, vendors, and regulatory agencies are selected for the next class. Additional review is performed to ensure the class is equally represented by candidates from both Kentucky and Tennessee.

Yes, multiple people may apply from the same organization, but representation in the class is limited to only one (1) person per organization. While multiple candidates from the same organization, municipality, etc., may increase the odds of having someone in the next class, candidates will be competing against one another for a position in the class. 

  • Make sure that you are detailed in your application responses. The applications are reviewed anonymously to remove potential for bias; the reviewers only see what you provide. 
  • Make sure that all parts of the application are completed prior to the deadline. The application process is very competitive, so a missing section, recommendation, etc., can make a big difference in the available points during review. 
  • Ensure your references provide thoughtful and thorough recommendation letters. We want to learn more about you and how others perceive you to be a leader in our industry.

Applicants will be notified of their acceptance status in mid-July, with the next class being announced at the annual Water Professionals Conference.

If your application isn’t accepted, we highly encourage you to reapply. Reapplicants are noted during review, and some additional points are provided. If you have any specific questions regarding your application, or if you want to know where you can improve, please feel free to contact our co-chairs, Heather Slaughter and Justin Bolender.

Each individual will benefit differently, but past participants have noted specific skill building in communication, leadership, and self-confidence, but more importantly, participants find value in the networking opportunities and relationships built not only with the rest of the class, but also with the organizers and presenters.