Praise for an Outstanding Employee


Note to reader: This is an email that was received last week from a client. This message shows our mission in action and reinforces why customer service is a top priority to all of us at RCAP Solutions. We applaud Jahaira Gonzalez for her professionalism and commitment to her clients while treating everyone she comes in contact with respect, care and excellent service.

Subject: Praise for an Outstanding Employee

Bill Minkle
Senior Vice President and Deputy Director to the President & CEO
RCAP Solutions

Mr. Minkle,

It is not often that I find myself writing an email like this, however, it is my pleasure to be doing so to bring to your attention the outstanding service that I have received from one of your employees, Jahaira Gonzalez, in the Worcester office.

From the moment I walked into the office, Ms. Gonzalez was very professional, attentive and courteous. She addressed me right away and was very helpful and knowledgeable, answering all of the many questions that I had since I was unfamiliar with what services were offered and the process to go about applying for them. She gave me the necessary paperwork that I needed for the RAFT Program and informed me of which days I could come back to meet with a counselor and submit my application. I asked if there was a number I could call if I thought of any additional questions after I left and she gave me her business card and pointed out her direct number.

I returned two days later and the office was full of people waiting. Again, Ms. Gonzalez was quick to address me and ask if I had signed in and brought my paperwork with me, which I had, and then told me to take a seat while I waited to meet with a counselor. While I waited, I observed a very busy office full of people walking about and streaming in and out. Ms. Gonzales impressed me with how well she kept her composure with all that was going on. Both clients and counselors were surrounding her asking questions, the phone was ringing often and she answered everyone’s questions while also managing to answer the phone, make photocopies, and hand out more paperwork and business cards all in a timely manner. I was especially impressed when she answered the phone and was friendly and patient and took her time with each caller despite having a frenzy of people around her waiting for her assistance. She did a great job holding her composure under the chaotic circumstances and treated every client, whether in the office or on the phone, with total professionalism.

Today I called Ms. Gonzalez to follow-up on my application and got her voicemail which stated she would return all calls within 24-48 hours. I left a message hoping that I would indeed get a return call as often times you don’t these days, no matter where you are calling, and thinking that if I did, it probably would be much longer than 24-48 hours. She called me back 3 hours later. I wasn’t expecting that and I was surprised and impressed. I was thinking, “This girl is good!” It was then that I decided I needed to write this e-mail to acknowledge her exceptional skills as she is an incredible asset to your organization.

Before I became unemployed which is what lead me to RCAP Solutions in the first place, I worked as a legal assistant at a law firm in Worcester for over 16 years with 8 years in office environments prior to that. I know how difficult it is to maintain your composure while working under the pressure of a demanding job. It’s even more challenging to remain friendly and to give each client the time and attention that they deserve. Ms. Gonzales is outstanding in all regards and a very hard working employee. Her contributions to your organization deserve acknowledgement as she goes above and beyond for all the clients, as well as the staff. Someone like her is hard to find and you are very lucky to have her.

Best regards,
Jennifer M. Disley

Home Modification Loan Program Testimonial



More happy customers!

The following is a thank you note sent to Renée Perdicaro, RCAP Solutions Residential Loan Fund Manager from a family that recently received a Home Modification Loan.  This program provides financing to make modifications to the residences of disabled persons, enabling individuals to live independently and remain in their homes.

“We will never be able to thank your organization enough for the opportunity to modify our home. Nor can we thank you enough for all the work and time you personally put in yourself.  If it weren’t for you, I would not be able to be in my own home. Thank you Renée, for all you did and for putting up with the endless phone calls from us as well as from the contractor.  The contractor we used, JW Remodeling, was amazing.  The jobs were done to perfection and we had not a single grievance. With much gratitude, Tom and Karen Grimes”

For more information on our Home Modification Loan Fund Program, please visit our Home Modification Loan Page.

Happy Clients, Happy 2014!



Congratulations to Jeaniffer Cordeiro, Program Representative for our Client Resources Team who received this great testimonial from one of our landlords.

“Thank you for always partnering and helping me as well as countless others throughout this year. You have been professional and very responsive. At all times I was given accurate information and advised about next steps in quick fashion. You helped define the right expectations with property owners and tenants. You handled sensitive issues in an effective way.

If there was a “CLIENT RELATIONS” Service Award, Employee of the Year, or Quarterly Excellence Award you would certainly win them all!

Happy New Year to you and your family.”

Holiday Shutdown Information

Please be advised that both our Gardner and Worcester offices will be closed from Tuesday, December 24, 2013 through Wednesday, January 1, 2014.

Any calls received during this time will be returned on Thursday, January 2, 2014.

During the shutdown, a few extensions will be monitored for emergency calls:

  • Emergencies involving inspection issues, such as no heat, should call extension 6686.
  • Emergencies involving other issues should call extension 6696.
  • RCAP Solutions Housing Consumer Education Center (HCEC) line will be monitored for tenant emergencies such as homelessness or tenants facing loss of housing.  Routine phone calls will be returned after the shutdown.  The HCEC extension is 6770.
  • HomeBase program emergencies should call extension 6771.

All HomeBASE activities for homeless families will continue throughout the agency shutdown period.

Routine messages and questions left at these extensions will be forwarded to the appropriate staff person for response when they return to the office on Thursday January 2, 2014.


The RCAP Solutions office phones WILL NOT be monitored during the shutdown. You must call the 800 number below to reach any of the extensions listed above:

(800) 488-1969

RCAP Solutions staff wishes you a safe, happy and healthy holiday.

Quality Training to Revitalize Communities and Sustain Jobs in the Water Sector

Sukhwindar Singh, Director of Education and Training, RCAP Solutions


RCAP Solutions is the northeast member of the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) with headquarters in Worcester, Massachusetts and onsite drinking water and wastewater technical assistance specialists and trainers throughout the Northeastern United States and Caribbean.  All RCAP specialists utilize state and federal funding to work onsite with small rural drinking water and wastewater systems to effect four community outcomes:

a)      Improved environmental and community health

b)      Compliance with federal and state regulations

c)      Sustainable water and waste disposal facilities

d)      Increased capability of local leaders to address current and future needs.

For years, RCAP personnel have documented the unique challenges that small systems face in providing reliable drinking water and wastewater services that meet federal and state standards.  These challenges can include but are not limited to a lack of financial resources and customer base, aging infrastructure, management limitations, and high staff turnover.  RCAP offers educational outreach to small systems to raise awareness of technical, managerial, and financial issues.  These RCAP tools, resources and methods assist system personnel and their boards to successfully operate and manage the system while addressing some of the barriers mentioned above.

Within the past year or so, RCAP has developed and released the following documents, materials and training programs that support economic and workforce initiatives:

  • An infographic on how Water Infrastructure Creates Jobs is available for free download here.
  • Color Brochures for recruiting new drinking water and wastewater operators to the water sector.  These brochures encourage those who are entering the workforce or those looking for a career change to consider a job in drinking water/wastewater operations.  These brochures highlight the benefits of jobs in the water sector, the education  and training experience needed and are suitable for distribution at high school and college career fairs, community colleges, technical schools and programs that help veterans find work.  These brochures are available at
  • Wastewater Training Modules for Operators of Small Systems- intended primarily for training contact hours/CEUs or precertification training, there are 12-14 modules newly developed for entry level operators on a variety of topics including Wastewater Chemistry, Overview of the Clean Water Act (CWA) and the NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) Program, Energy Efficiency, Overview of Wastewater, Lagoons and Ponds, Preliminary and Primary Treatment, Wastewater Sampling and Preservation, Wastewater Disinfection, Introduction to Wastewater Plant Instrumentation and Monitoring, Wastewater Math for Operators, and a number of other topics.  Learning objectives, exercises, assessment and evaluation are core elements of these modules and characteristic of the RCAP approach. Seven of these modules were developed by RCAP Solutions and its qualified contractor Cotton Environmental.   All the training modules were developed around the most recent findings from the Association of Boards of Certification Need-to Know Critera for Wastewater Treatment Operators. In order to access our operator training materials, we encourage you to sign up for an RCAP Solutions training or contact us about setting up events near you.
  • Our first RCAP Solutions Summer Series Operator Training Tour was a success! Full day workshops were held in South Burlington, Vermont; Rutland, Vermont; Concord, New Hampshire and Worcester, Massachusetts.  The morning trainings consisted of the Clean Water Act & NPDES Program, Overview of Wastewater Treatment and Discharge Monitoring Reports.  The afternoon sessions consisted of the Intro to Chemistry and Wastewater Sampling and Preservation.  In addition, local officials and managers from surrounding municipalities were invited to a sponsored Lunch and Learn to learn more about wastewater characteristics and stream standards so that they are better informed to effectively manage their system.  In all, approximately 40 individuals attended the trainings with representatives from 14 communities with Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTWS) and over 21 operators.  A review of pre and post-test scores for the attendees notes an overall improvement in understanding of basic concepts at the conclusion of the event and all attendees noted that the workshops met their expectations, and that class participation was encouraged and that the presenter(s) demonstrated knowledge of the topic and good presentation skills.  Many attendees noted that they would attend RCAP Solutions trainings again and found the material and video demonstrations quite useful.
  • RCAP has also released a new series of wastewater focused videos that highlight wastewater collection systems, small on-site wastewater treatment systems, energy efficiency, and preparing for emergencies for operators.  This compliments a series of videos already produced by RCAP  on wastewater processes for non-operators.  All these videos can be found here: and .

There are many additional materials and programs that have not been mentioned here.  Our goal was to highlight some newer materials that have recently been developed courtesy of our various funders.  All operator training workshops, modules, and videos were presented and funded as a part of the EPA/RCAP Training and Technical Assistance for Small, Publicly Owned WW Systems, Onsite/Decentralized Wastewater Systems and Private Well Owners to Improve Water Quality Project 2012-2013. Please contact Sukh Singh, Director of Education and Training for information about these materials at or 814.861.7072.

Community Resources – A New Year of Programming

Scott Mueller, Director of Community Resources and Chief Rural Affairs Officer


RCAP Solutions is now entering a new year of programming – with many great programs and technical assistance services to offer!
We are pleased to announce that we have once again been awarded funding to provide technical assistance to small rural and underserved communities from both USDA Rural Development and Health and Human Services. We also provide services under a direct contract, allowing delivery of more refined project development, management, and financial services.

In many cases, if the community project is eligible, RCAP Solutions can subsidize costs and work with communities to create an effective and affordable approach. We can also assist with the many aspects of project development, including asset management plans, developing sanitary surveys, and Title Five inspections in Massachusetts.

As rural communities face increasing financial challenges it becomes more important than ever to manage your community infrastructure and assets properly, to forecast projects and associated costs in advance in order to make those services affordable. Developing an infrastructure master plan can be helpful in this area, as well as for state and federal agencies that provide funding assistance. A long term relationship can be built to maintain compliance and proper planning for new and existing infrastructure upgrades, as well as funding assistance.

We look forward to serving your community.  Please visit our new website for more details or call Scott Mueller, Director of Community Resources and Chief Financial Officer at 315-482-2756.

Important Information For RCAP Solutions Clients

As of September 20, 2013, all RCAP Solutions Housing Assistance and Client Service Program Representatives will be located in our Worcester office at: 12 East Worcester Street, Worcester, MA 01604.

With our recent headquarters expansion in the City of Worcester, RCAP Solutions is consolidating its Gardner Corporate Office to one floor.

While our Gardner office will remain open, there will no longer be any client intake or housing representatives available for counseling for walk-in assistance at this location. As this location will now house administrative staff only, we ask that all visitors please make advance plans as all guests will be seen by appointment only. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause.

Please note, all program representative’s email and phone numbers have not changed.  For more information and directions to our Worcester Office, please contact your Program Representative directly or visit the Contact Page on our website.

If you have a need for special accommodations, please contact your program representative directly.  There is a designated RCAP Solutions dropbox located inside the front door of the Gardner entrance for your convenience for paperwork and other communications needs.

For more information, please call 800-488-1969 or visit


Our HCEC Counselors Receive New Certifications

HCEC in Training

Congratulations to the members of our Housing Consumer Education Center Team on their recent certifications!

Pictured is Robert Ochoa, Housing Counselor Specialist; Madeline Cotto, HCEC Coordinator and Pam Moshier, Chief Consumer Education Officer and Director of HCEC at the NeighborWorks Training Institute in Philadelphia PA.

Robert and Maddie are now certified in Homebuyer Educaton Methods as Trainers and Pam received Certification in Homeownership Counseling for Program Managers and Executive Directors.

For more information on our Housing Consumer Education Center, please visit our HCEC Page on our website.

About NeighborWorks Center for Homeownership Education and Counseling:  NCHEC promotes sustainable homeownership by supporting the industry’s educators and counselors. Through its training programs, professional certifications and other tools and resources, NCHEC increases the number of qualified homeownership professionals who are prepared to help people realize the dream of lifelong homeownership.  Visit their website for more information.

And The Winner Is…

August Fun

Damarya Kumah Humphries

Congratulations to Damarya Kumah Humphries who won $9.11 today!

In anticipation of a large number of clients during the month of August, with the start of the RAFT Program (Residential Assistance for Families in Transition) a “guess how many” game was set up at the front desk of both the Gardner and Worcester offices.

Clients could guess how many jelly beans, gumballs and pennies were in ball jars at the reception area. The person who had the closest guess  won the jar.

Out of 500 participants, she came the closest to guessing that there were 911 pennies in the jar.

When asked what she will do with the money, she said that she is not going to cash it, she’s going to save it!  Smart girl!