Theodore Higgins has moved steadily taking on roles of greater responsibility in his 16 years at the Industrial Waste Management Division at the city of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation. Now he’s helping create advancement opportunities for his inspections colleagues through the creation of the Professional Development and Work Exposure Program. The program encourages the professional development of both current and future Environmental Compliance Inspectors.
“There are three components,” Higgins explains. “A one-day orientation and career planning session, one week of programming for existing employees which includes cross mobility with other departments, and a nine-month rotation period where employees get exposed to each of our divisions.
“We are just getting started. An inspector will gain valuable training, broaden their knowledge, skills, and abilities, and gain leadership skills.”
Says Michael Simpson, manager of the Industrial Waste Management Division, who nominated Higgins: “Before we had a work exposure program, many inspectors felt stuck in their current position and had no outlook for career advancement or cross training opportunities for different career choices. Theodore played a key role in creating a unique and powerful career exposure program.”
“The topic of Leadership is an important one to him,” Simpson adds. “In fact he just earned a B.A.in Leadership from Woodbury University in Burbank.
For Higgins, sustainability is just as important. He’s worked closely with area restaurants on fats, oils, and grease control, and the car wash industry, holding workshops on water savings, emphasizing recycling and other green practices. In fact, a car wash facility he nominated won the CWEA award for sustainable water management practices.
“That’s what I like about it,” he says of his job. “We play a very significant role and are in alignment with our Mayor’s goals of becoming one of the most sustainable, green cities in the world. I am thankful to have the opportunity to work in a great environment with talented people.”
Would you like to nominate someone as an Emerging Leader to be featured in the CWEA E-Bulletin and Clean Water? We accept applications on a rolling basis. Head over to our awards site and start nominating!