At its 2014 Annual Meeting, the American Public Gas Association (APGA) presented Hutchinson Utilities Commission with the prestigious APGA System Operational Achievement Recognition (SOAR) distinction, which recognizes excellence in operating natural gas utilities. Public natural gas systems are entrusted by their customers to deliver clean and affordable natural gas through a safe and reliable distribution pipeline system. To accomplish this mission, a forward-thinking natural gas utility constantly strives to improve its operating capabilities, overcome challenges and adapt to its changing environment.
Out of over 700 APGA members, Hutchinson Utilities Commission was one of 21 selected in 2014 for SOAR distinction by its peers on the APGA Operations and Safety Committee. Hutchinson Utilities Commission’s Silver distinction was based on demonstrated excellence in the four areas of system integrity, system improvement, employee safety, and workforce development.
System integrity refers to the natural gas distribution system performing its overall intended function safely, efficiently and effectively. System improvement refers to keeping the natural gas system well maintained and up-to-date through a self-improvement program that includes both an eye on the future and a commitment to system improvement programs. In a top-performing utility, employee safety is utility-wide and evident in all aspects of utility operations. Lastly, workforce development focuses on creative recruitment, training, education and development practices that provide a return on investment through increased employee loyalty, motivation, safety, and productivity.
“Hutchinson Utilities Commission was highly rated in all four areas that are required of SOAR. Hutchinson Utilities Commission consistently demonstrates a commitment to providing natural gas safely and efficiently to all those in their community and as such, serves as a model for all other natural gas utilities in the country. APGA is proud to recognize Hutchinson Utilities Commission and is confident in their continued success,” said APGA President and CEO, Bert Kalisch.