The Rural Utilities Business Management Occupational Endorsement Program (OEP) is the result of collaboration between the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the State of Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development; Division of Community and Regional Affairs with financial support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development, Alaska Office. The OEP incorporates courses in rural water and wastewater utility management, developed and taught by the State of Alaska Rural Utility Business Advisor (RUBA) program since 1990.

  • Co-sponsored by regional non-profit associations and the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development.
  • Held throughout Alaska
  • Training provided to staff from small Alaskan communities with up to 1,500 residents
  • Participants include utility managers, utility clerks, operators, mayors, tribal council presidents, and other governing body members.
  • Workshops include a series of eight 32 hour sessions leading to a certificate in utility management:
Introduction to Utility Management

  • Organizational Management
  • Personnel Management
  • Financial Management
  • Planning Management
  • Operational Management
  • Personnel Management
Operational Management

  • Safety
  • Operations and Maintenance Schedules
  • Data Collection and Policy
  • Public Relations
  • Inventory Control
  • Contingency Planning
Personnel Policies and Procedures

  • Safety Policy and Programs
  • Selecting and Hiring Staff
  • Orientation and training
  • Regulations and the Law
  • People, Communication and Conflict
  • Motivation and Management Skills
Organization Management

  • Level of Service
  • Organizational Structure
  • Roles, Authority, and Responsibilities
  • Utility Ordinance
  • Customer Agreements
  • Communication and Administration
Planning Management

  • Introduction to Planning
  • Getting Ready to Plan
  • Collecting Information
  • Developing Alternatives
  • Evaluating Alternatives
  • Choosing the Best Alternative
  • Putting the Plan into Action
Elected Officials

  • Overview of Government
  • Roles and Responsibilities
  • Meetings
  • Ordinances and Resolutions
  • Policies and Procedures
  • Financial Management
  • Sustainability
Financial Management

  • Budgets
  • Chart of Accounts
  • Rate Setting
  • Collections
  • Financial Reports
  • Managerial Reports

  • Public Relations
  • Meetings
  • Office Management
  • Elections
  • Financial Management
  • Ordinances and Resolutions


Managers and utility clerks gain new skills to help manage and operate community water and sanitation facilities. Skills acquired during training can be transferred to management and operation of other community facilities.

Proper management and operation helps sustain essential community facilities and services to benefit residents.

The community receives points on their Village Safe Water or SDS application.

Operators earn 3 core CEUs for operator certification.

Participants can earn 2 college credits with the University of Alaska.


Employees of rural water and wastewater utilities

Individuals who have completed some or all of the courses taught by the State RUBA Program are eligible for credit for their prior learning.

Individuals in rural Alaska who would like to prepare themselves for a new career.


Click here to obtain information about application requirements, a schedule of course offerings, application fees, and financial assistance, or contact:

Elizabeth Manfred, RUBA Program Manager
Phone: 907-269-4556 | Fax: 907-269-4563