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The North Country Convention (NCC) is held biennially in Presque Isle, Maine and is a 2-day educational event and trade show designed for Wastewater and Drinking Water operators. This conference is held in "The County" to compliment similar annual events offered by Maine Water Environment Association (MEWEA) and Maine Water Utilities Association (MWUA). Since those events generally take place in the southern region of the state, the NCC is designed to bring the benefits of those events to the people of northern Maine.
Historically this biennial convention helps unify Maine's wastewater industry while providing educational opportunities for water pollution control professionals in northern Maine. In addition, E.J. Prescott participates as a sponsor and helps to ensure that additional classes were also available for Drinking Water operators.
The first North Country Convention was held in 1990 and was a 1-day event with 78 attendees. This year’s attendance exactly doubled that of its first year! 156 attendees passed through the Presque Isle Inn and Convention Center for JETCC’s two-day North Country Convention and Trade Show on April 26 and 27, 2017.
JETCC would like to thank all of the Convention sponsors who helped make this event possible: Maine Water Environment Association, E.J. Prescott, ClearWater Laboratory, Flygt - a xylem brand, Clean Harbors, Ti-Sales, Monson Company, Casella Organics, and Ted Berry Company.
After welcoming remarks from Presque Isle City Manager Martin Puckett and a Maine DEP update, conference goers selected from 25 different classes during the 2-day event.
Presentations were designed to suit everyone including new operators, laboratorians, personnel working on infrastructure or community relations and seasoned water and wastewater operators seeking to fine-tune their skills. Three different training tracks were offered each day to earn up to 12 hours of continuing education.
Along with an active exhibit area featuring 22 different displays, participants heard from Maine DEP Commissioner Paul Mercer and MeWEA President Matt Timberlake.
A returning draw to the NCC was the presence of internationally recognized microbiologist Michael Gerardi who traveled from Pennsylvania to offer three different specialty sessions on “WW Bacteria and Pathogens”, ”Process Control Parameters” and “Odor Production”.
Throughout the conference special attention was given to the new Water and Wastewater curriculum being launched in the fall by Northern Maine Community College (NMCC). Along with addresses from NMCC President Timothy Crowley, Academic Dean, Dottie Martin and Electronics Instructor, Chuck Kelley, the school offered an exhibit featuring a headset with an interactive virtual tour of a wastewater treatment plant and related technology.
Rebecca Beam from Maine DEP’s Augusta office was ready with a laptop to offer one-on-one tutorials on the use of and changes to NetDMR. Always popular is the Meet-Greet in the exhibit area with raffle giveaways.
JETCC thanks all of the generous sponsors, exhibitors, and industry professionals who contributed and volunteered to assist with the 2017 North Country Convention. It can be a long drive to northern Maine, but consensus from everyone is that “it is always worth it”.