SERCAP is full of dedicated, selfless individuals hoping to make our communities healthier, stronger, and better places for all. One of these incredible individuals is Randy Welch!
Randy is the Technical Assistance Provider (TAP) for North Carolina. As the TAP, he assists communities with water and wastewater operations, financial management, and provides education in order for the community to become financially self-sustaining. “The ideal ending to a day is returning to my home or hotel room knowing that I was able to help a community or operator strive to be better. The gratification is beyond measure,” Randy said.
TAPs don’t just come in, fix the water supply, and leave. Instead, TAPs work to build relationships among community leaders, in order to truly understand their immediate and long-term needs. From there, the TAP can solidify the best course of action, from concrete goals such as building, replacing, or fixing water and wastewater operations; to abstract goals of greater overall education, communication, and community involvement in advocating for their needs.
“The rural communities throughout North Carolina and SERCAP regions struggle with the expertise and resources to provide the high quality of infrastructure and quality of living,” Randy explained. Lack of water and wastewater resources is a direct result of more nebulous and larger problems, like poverty and environmental injustices. “The ability to help communities through the problems they are facing is very rewarding.”
While people like Randy can’t solve these great challenges alone, what they can do is empower these communities by helping provide access to necessary resources, as well as teach them self-advocacy. “Water is Life!” as we say, and by providing access to clean water, communities find hope. “My passion for this position comes from helping or being a voice for the community. Helping the leaders become more knowledgeable makes for better decisions made for the community. My passion is overcoming the environmental injustice that many have to deal with.”
Clean water, education, and support are critical for overcoming challenges of these communities, but Randy also adds a little extra in order to make a difference. “If I could offer anything to anyone that would listen, spend your day in some form of laughter. My day is spent in laughter and I love to make it contagious,” he said. “I awake every day to make the most of the day I’ve been given.”
The best thing about North Carolina for Randy is “the wide diversity of populations and communities. You can travel from a beach community to the highest peaks of the mountains. I meet some of the most fantastic people in North Carolina that have a passion like mine to make a positive change for their community.”
Even when pausing his SERCAP work, Randy is still helping the communities of North Carolina. “I am a district director for youth softball in North Carolina, and I volunteer with Dixie Youth softball. The time spent with the youth teaching and nurturing is something that is unmeasurable.” Speaking of youth, he also loves to spend time with his grandchildren, and finds great joy in watching them grow and mature.
We wanted to close out this blog with Randy’s own words of his appreciation of the SERCAP team and his work:
“From the Board of Directors, management, and co-workers, everyone is there for one another. Each of the 7 states are unique in their community operations that make for building a wealth of knowledge to feed off of...My appreciation for the opportunity to work with such a great organization is unmeasurable. The support for what I do makes me thrive to become a better person and reach out to as many as possible. Life is about learning daily and enjoying life as you do so. A day without learning something new, whatever it may be, is a wasted day!”
Well-said, Randy! Thank you for your dedication to North Carolina and the SERCAP mission!