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AANHPI Heritage Month Spotlight: A Conversation with Recruiting Coordinator Alyssa Owens

AANHPI Heritage Month
  • Donovan Gomez

Celebrating AANHPI Heritage Month

As the Recruiting Coordinator within the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission’s (SFPUC) Hetch Hetchy Water & Power (HHWP) Division, Alyssa Owens is heavily involved with recruiting and onboarding support. She takes great pride in her work to recruit potential candidates to work at the SFPUC. She plays an instrumental role in hosting job fairs and outreach activities to incorporate inclusiveness and belonging in the workplace.

Every year in May, we celebrate the rich cultures and contributions of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities. We had a chance to talk with Alyssa as she talked about the importance of celebrating AANHPI Heritage Month and what it means for her and her family heritage. She shares that she is a mix of native Hawaiian, Irish and Portuguese. 

AANHPI Spotlight - Alyssa Owens

Question: What does AANHPI Heritage Month mean to you? 
Answer: The recognition of AANHPI Heritage Month gives me a sense of pride and appreciation for the roots that my ancestors derived from. My Grandma was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. She grew up there during Pearl Harbor and a bomb actually lander in her backyard and didn't go off. Shortly after is when she came to Tuolumne County and started a life here for our family.

Question: Why is it essential that Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islanders are present and represented in the utilities industry?
Answer: It is important to recognize the cultures that are still shaping our society from then until today.

Question: What do you enjoy most about working in recruitment in Tuolumne County for the SFPUC?
Answer: I get to encounter people from all walks of life every day. It is a privilege to be able to engross myself in so many different cultures of people and help them set goals for their lifelong career. I value the importance of belonging and try my best to help all new and potential employees feel that sense of inclusiveness from their very first encounter with us. 

Question: How does it feel to work for the SFPUC in the place where you grew up in?
Answer: I am a local from Tuolumne County and grew up swimming in up country rivers and lakes, which host some of my favorite childhood memories and that I reflect on often. I am a single mother and now I get to watch my son grow up in the same bodies of water that I was raised in. 

To say its nostalgic, would be a vast understatement. When I am in nature, I feel balanced and at peace. Working with Hetch Hetchy Water and Power has taken that passion I have for this area and applied it to something so rewarding. I am beyond grateful and feel such a connection to both my personal and work life.