American Water (NYSE: AWK), the nation’s largest publicly traded water and wastewater utility company, celebrated the official grand opening of its new headquarters at One Water Street on the Camden Waterfront with employees, local residents and community members, business and industry leaders, elected officials and dozens of students from the Camden City School District. A $200,000 donation for STEM education was also announced by the American Water Charitable Foundation during today’s ceremony.
“Our move to Camden is an opportunity to contribute to the continuing revival of this great City, a community in which we have provided water service and invested in for more than 125 years,” said Susan Story, President and Chief Executive Officer of American Water. “At American Water, we keep life flowing – both by investing in Camden’s youth and the region’s future economic prosperity, and by providing clean, safe, reliable and affordable water and water services to our customers in Camden and across the United States.”
While American Water’s move to Camden and its donation to support STEM education among Camdenstudents are new developments, the company is no stranger to the City. Since 2011, American Water has invested more than $5 million into Camden organizations, including Hopeworks, the Salvation Army KROC Center, Habitat for Humanity, Ronald McDonald House, LUCY Outreach, St. Joseph’s Carpenter Society, UrbanPromise, Boys & Girls Club of Camden County and Cathedral Kitchen.
“STEM education is a critical discipline for our students to embrace while in school, in order to be prepared to take advantage of the wide range of careers in the modern economy,” said Katrina McCombs, Acting Superintendent, Camden City School District. “With American Water Charitable Foundation’s generous donation, more Camden public school students will have access to state-of-the-art STEM education and resources, equipping them with the vital skills they’ll need to pursue post-secondary degrees, enter the workforce and thrive in the types of highly skilled positions being created right here on the Camden Waterfront.”
In an effort to form new partnerships and expand existing ones with local organizations that are aligned with the company’s commitment to improving the quality of life in the City of Camden, American Water is entering into a voluntary Community Investment Agreement with the Office of the Mayor. The Agreement outlines a comprehensive plan for how the company will emphasize and promote community education and outreach, job training programs and hiring initiatives at the headquarters and within the City.
“American Water doesn’t just talk about wanting to be a good corporate steward – their actions make it clear that this is a company that is committed to the future of our City,” said Camden Mayor Frank Moran. “Their ongoing partnership with the City of Camden and investment in the community at large is proof that American Water is an active and enthusiastic contributor to Camden’s renaissance, and we couldn’t be happier to officially welcome them to the neighborhood.”
The company’s Agreement with the City of Camden centers on three pillars. The first details a workforce development program aimed at developing and finding job opportunities for Camden residents, both within and outside American Water. The second includes an investment in Camden youth that complements American Water Charitable Foundation’s donation to and multifaceted partnership with Camden City School District. The third details American Water’s ongoing plans to continue conducting community outreach and sustainability efforts, such as continuing to encourage employees to participate in the City’s annual Camden Clean Up program, partnering with the Camden County Parks Departmentand Cooper’s Ferry.
The company will also continue its AmerICANs in Action! program – in September alone, 270 company employees dedicated 1,100 hours to 15 volunteer projects across the City. Now based out of Camden, employees will have even greater opportunities to volunteer for improvement initiatives across the City with organizations such as Cooper’s Ferry Connect the Lots program, City Events, LUCY Outreach, Hopeworks and Cathedral Kitchen.
The company’s new headquarters brings together over 600 corporate, service company and non-regulated business employees from American Water’s former Voorhees, New Jersey location and three other offices in Southern New Jersey, as well as employees from New Jersey American Water. In its smart, sustainable new home overlooking Camden’s iconic Cooper Street and the Delaware River, American Water employees will be able to work more collaboratively, and more efficiently, to better serve its customers. It will also bring in visitors and water experts from all over the world to Camden, given its national leadership role in the research, development and deployment of groundbreaking water technology and tools to deal with emerging contaminants and other critical water policy issues.
The building features a Learning and Innovation Center – an educational discovery space for visitors to explore and learn about all things water. The five-story, 220,000 square-foot headquarters is a green construction development and a LEED® Platinum building, reflective of American Water’s commitment to being environmentally conscious. It was designed by Robert A. M. Stern Architects and developed by Liberty Property Trust.
“The development of this project reflects American Water’s approach to growth – with goals ranging from global to hyperlocal. The construction of this sustainable project was significantly impacted by the support, talent and hard work of the residents of Camden,” said William P. Hankowsky, President and Chief Executive Officer of Liberty Property Trust.
The result is a building that generated more than $13 million in construction work for local Camdenbusinesses, jobs for 74 Camden residents who worked on the construction of the headquarters and features environmentally friendly solutions that include:
- A water reuse system that provides water for the building’s toilets and landscaping
- Low-flow toilets, sinks and showers that reduce water usage
- High-efficiency HVAC systems that reduce energy consumption
- LED lighting and solar window shades that maximize the use of natural light
- High-efficiency glass windows that reduce interior heat impact
For more information on American Water’s Camden headquarters, visit amwater.com/corp/about-us/corporate-info/camden-headquarters.