Chase Stanley Completes Apprenticeship at Brattleboro Water Department

by Allison Smith

This article was published in the spring 2024 issue of our newsletter.

A man and a woman shake hands. Both are wearing blue hard hats. The man is holding a certificate.

Chase Stanley (right) and Paula Jackson.

Chase Stanley, a trainee at the Brattleboro Water Department, recently completed a two-year apprenticeship in water treatment. To achieve this milestone, Chase fulfilled 4,000 hours of on-the-job training and 288 hours of classroom education.

“He is a quick learner,” said Garrett Calantropio, Chase’s mentor at the Brattleboro Water Department. “Working to keep the public safe is second nature to him. Ethics and integrity is a big part of this job and he has no shortage of that.”

Chase is a veteran of the United States Army and worked for the Brattleboro Police Department for eight years before transitioning to the Water Department. Chase says that the skills he acquired in the Army, like adaptability and the ability to follow protocols and execute tasks, help him in his day-to-day work as a water operator. His career-long commitment to public safety is now expressed through providing safe drinking water to residents.

The Brattleboro Water Department provides drinking water to approximately 12,000 customers. The water source is Pleasant Valley Reservoir and Sunset Lake. The department just transitioned to a new state-of-the-art water treatment facility, which has greater filtration capacity.

Chase expressed pride in working for a proactive utility dedicated to delivering safe, high-quality drinking water. He emphasized the department’s dedication to providing the best water possible, such as exceeding standards by performing extensive water testing throughout the entire system.

A typical day for Chase includes comprehensive checks of the facility, routine water testing, and maintaining the 100 acres of land owned by the water department. “It is a good job and communities will always need clean water,” he said. “It is a job that keeps your brain working and problem solving.”

Four people stand in a brightly-lit room with pipes running along the walls. Everyone wears a blue hard hat.

Chase Stanley (center) at Brattleboro’s new water treatment plant.

There is a shortage of water operators in Vermont and across the country as more operators retire than join the trade. To combat this problem, Vermont Rural Water created an apprenticeship program in 2019 to train new workers at drinking water and wastewater treatment facilities. Apprentices receive a salary while working under the guidance of a mentor, and also attend classes taught by Vermont Rural Water. Learn more at

Chase became an apprentice in 2021 and is the seventh person in Vermont to complete the program. While Garrett was Chase’s official mentor during his apprenticeship, the rest of the crew also provided mentorship, recognizing his quick learning ability and enthusiasm for outdoor work.

“Chase is self-motivated, dedicated, and conscientious. He has all the qualities that we want in an apprentice,” said Paula Jackson, the apprenticeship program coordinator at Vermont Rural Water. “It has been rewarding to see his passion for water grow and merge with his passion for community service throughout his participation in the two-year program.”

Chase’s commitment to public service extends beyond his professional duties. Passionate about mental health advocacy, he founded Chasing Zero, a fundraising effort to support suicide prevention for first responders and veterans. Over the past three years, he has raised over $40,000 through events like a 22-mile walk, which is symbolic of the 22 veterans who die by suicide each day.

For those interested in supporting Chasing Zero, contact or visit