New Directors Announced for Two City Departments
During the month of December, new directors were announced for two key departments within the City—the Police Department and the Department of Public Utilities (Waterworks). Richard W. "Rick" Myers is replacing former Chief of Police Jim Fox, who retired at the end of August, and Kofi A. Boateng will serve as Director of Public Utilities, replacing longtime director Brian Ramaley, who retired at the end of May.
|Police Chief Richard W. "Rick" Myers|
Chief Myers, a native of Rochester, Michigan, has over 35 years of public safety experience. He has served 27 years as Chief of Police for several municipal police departments, to include the cities of Colorado Springs (CO), Appleton (WI), Plymouth (MI), and the Village of Lisle (IL). He has also served as Interim Chief of Police for the cities of Sanford (FL) and Manitou Springs (CO). Chief Myers received a Bachelor's Degree in Zoology and a Master's Degree in Criminal Justice, both from Michigan State University. He is a graduate of the FBI's National Executive Institute, a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and a Commissioner on the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.
Myers was selected after a thorough process that included a national search, an extensive assessment center, a series of interviews with the City Manager, department directors, and a panel of select Police Department employees, and two open forums—one with Police Department employees and one for citizens.
|Waterworks Director Kofi Boateng|
Waterworks Director Kofi Boateng brings 22 years of progressively responsible experience in water utility management. He previously served as the Director of Utilities for the City of Boynton Beach, Florida, as well as DC Water in Washington, DC. He also served as Operations Manager for Dallas Water Utilities. As Waterworks Director in Newport News, he will oversee an $81 million operating budget and a staff of more than 350. Boateng holds three separate Bachelor’s Degrees in Chemical Engineering, Mathematics and Physics, with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Georgetown University. He is also a registered Professional Engineer.
The Department of Public Utilities operates Newport News Waterworks, a regional water provider owned and operated by the City of Newport News that serves over 400,000 people on the Virginia Peninsula in the cities of Hampton, Newport News, and Poquoson, and portions of James City County and York County.
Chief Myers and Mr. Boateng will serve as great assets to our community, and I would like to welcome and congratulate them both.
Apprentice School Grand Opening
On December 6, Newport News Shipbuilding held the Grand Opening for its new Apprentice School campus in the City’s historic downtown. Governor Bob McDonnell, U.S. Congressmen Bobby Scott and Rob Wittman, State Delegate Chris Jones, and members of City Council were all present to participate in the unveiling for this project, which was made possible through a partnership with the City of Newport News, Newport News Shipbuilding, and the Commonwealth of Virginia.
|In front of the bronze statue at the Apprentice School after it was unveiled.|
Founded in 1919 at Newport News Shipbuilding, the Apprentice School is the preeminent apprenticeship program in the nation and offers four- and five-year apprenticeships in 19 shipbuilding disciplines and seven advanced programs of study. It is accredited through the Council on Occupational Education and registered with the Virginia Apprenticeship Council. The Apprentice School offers apprentices the opportunity to earn college credit, receive competitive pay and benefits, all while learning a trade.
The new 90,000-square-foot Apprentice School features state-of-the-art facilities, including eight computer labs, two video teleconferencing classrooms, a physics lab, and a 600-seat gymnasium. The campus provides for more than just academics, however, as it also includes 197 workforce housing units, a 380 space parking garage, and 29,500 square feet of retail/commercial space – all of which will help to bring new life into this important area of Newport News.
This project will not only continue to ensure a well-trained and highly skilled workforce for Virginia’s largest industrial employer, it will also assist in revitalizing our City’s downtown. I would like to congratulate Newport News Shipbuilding, and its parent company Huntington Ingalls on the completion of this project, and extend thanks to the many people who made this development possible.
For more information on the Apprentice School and its new campus, please click on the link below.
The Importance of Mentoring
Across the nation, January is recognized as national mentoring month. Giving back to your community through mentoring is not only important to those you mentor (mentees), it is a deeply rewarding experience for all involved.
Mentoring relationships provide valuable support to young people. By serving as a caring role model, mentors help mentees to grow into productive and successful adults, while forming meaningful lifelong relationships. Mentors help guide youth through the sometimes awkward transition into adulthood by serving as a stable, positive influence in their lives.
There is a great need for mentors in America. Nearly 18 million young people in the United States need or want mentoring, but only three million are in formal, high-quality mentoring relationships. Studies show that students who meet regularly with their mentors are 52% less likely than their peers to skip a day of school and 37% less likely to skip a class. In addition, mentees are 46% less likely to start using illegal drugs. Statistics also show that mentees have a higher self-esteem than other at-risk youth.
As we enter into the new year, I hope you will consider becoming a mentor and in doing so give a young person a gift that will last a lifetime. To find out more on National Mentoring Month or to find mentoring opportunities in our area, please click on the links below.
Upcoming Events and Programs
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration – Sunday, January 18th; 11:00am – 1:00pm; The Newsome House Museum and Cultural Center (2803 Oak Ave, Newport News) – Come out for this community celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday. For more information, please call (757) 247-2360.
- Big Brothers, Big Sisters Male Mentoring Program with Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity – Thursday, January 23rd, 2014; 4:30pm at the Pearl Baily Library (2510 Wickham Ave, Newport News) – Big Brothers, Big Sisters and Zeta Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., in conjunction with Pearl Bailey Library, will host a Male Mentoring Program for boys and young men ages 9-18. The program empowers youth to aspire toward higher education through self-creation, avoidance of risk-taking behaviors, and participation in positive, esteem-building activities. Registration is required and ongoing. To register online click the link below or call the Pearl Bailey Library at (757) 247-8677.
- Hampton University After School Homework Helpers – Tuesdays, January 21 and January 28, 2014; 4:00 – 6:00pm at the Pearl Baily Library (2510 Wickham Ave, Newport News) – Pharmaceutical students from Hampton University will help youth ages 6-18, one-on- one, with math and science homework. No registration required. For more information, call Pearl Bailey Library at (757) 247-8677.
For pictures from community events and real-time updates on City happenings – be sure to “like” my Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/MayorMcKinleyPrice) and follow me on Twitter @NNMayorPriceDDS.