Launch Slideshow

November 17, 2011: 2011 EcoBuzz Conference held at the David Suzuki Secondary School in Brampton, Ontario. David Suzuki was on hand to visit the local exhibitors at the conference and talk to students and faculty.

Takin’ it to the streets

Takin’ it to the streets

  • Two employees of Brampton Works & Transportation Department present information about careers in public works to a student in one of their many career forums.

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    Two employees of Brampton Works & Transportation Department present information about careers in public works to a student in one of their many career forums.

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    Nick Turchiaro

    Two employees of Brampton Works & Transportation Department present information about careers in public works to a student in one of their many career forums.

  • November 17, 2011: 2011 EcoBuzz Conference held at the David Suzuki Secondary School in Brampton, Ontario. David Suzuki was on hand to visit the local exhibitors at the conference and talk to students and faculty.

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    November 17, 2011: 2011 EcoBuzz Conference held at the David Suzuki Secondary School in Brampton, Ontario. David Suzuki was on hand to visit the local exhibitors at the conference and talk to students and faculty.

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    Nick Turchiaro

    Marketing Administrative Assistant Diana Sabatino and Training & Safety Coordinator for Brampton Transit Deepak Bains hand out informational pamphlets at one of Brampton Works & Transportation Department’s booths at a career fair in 2012.

  • May 10, 2010St Edmund Campion Catholic Secondary School© 2010 Nick Turchiaro Photography

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    May 10, 2010St Edmund Campion Catholic Secondary School© 2010 Nick Turchiaro Photography

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    Nick Turchiaro

    May 10, 2010 St Edmund Campion Catholic Secondary School © 2010 Nick Turchiaro Photography

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    Doug Bear

    “Teachers say [National Public Works Week] is their favorite field trip,” says Kitsap County, Wash. Public Communications Manager Doug Bear.

  • Teenagers learn about surveying and mapping under the watchful eye of Kitsap County (Wash.) public works employees.

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    Teenagers learn about surveying and mapping under the watchful eye of Kitsap County (Wash.) public works employees.

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    Doug Bear

    Teenagers learn about surveying and mapping under the watchful eye of Kitsap County (Wash.) public works employees.

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    St. Charles Public Works Department

    St. Charles, Mo. Suggests having plenty of ear plugs on hand from the many horns being blown throughout the day as kids explore the equipment.

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    St. Charles Public Works Department

    Local kids get to literally leave their mark at the St. Charles, Mo. National Public Works Week celebration.

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    St. Charles Public Works Department

    Armed with plastic gloves, kids leave their handprints in wet concrete in St. Charles, Mo.

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    St. Charles Public Works Department

    A small girl signs her name on a snow plow blade in St. Charles, Mo. The blades are used the following winter.

  • St. Charles, Mo., day care children sign a snow plow blade at last years National Public Works Week celebration. The blades are then used the following winter.

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    St. Charles, Mo., day care children sign a snow plow blade at last years National Public Works Week celebration. The blades are then used the following winter.

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    St. Charles Public Works Department

    St. Charles, Mo., day care children sign a snow plow blade at last year’s National Public Works Week celebration. The blades are then used the following winter.

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    St. Charles Public Works Department

    The organizers of the St. Charles, Mo. Public Works celebration suggest that for a good turnout you need to “Invite people and feed them.” They have done just that with this group of local schoolchildren.

Many respondents to the salary survey in the April 2013 issue fear that well-publicized government cutbacks will prompt up-and-coming talent to pursue careers in the private sector rather than public sector.

If they’re correct, that doesn’t bode well for the typical public works department.

You and your team are the best antidote to this potential consequence of the economic downturn. Instituted by the American Public Works Association (APWA) in 1960, National Public Works Week (NPWW) is a low-cost, high-impact opportunity to teach residents how ubiquitous — and important — your department is to their daily lives. It’s also a chance to introduce children to public works as a profession, which is more important than ever as the wave of Baby Boomer retirements begins to crest.

Click through the next few pages to see how three departments use the event to reach out to the next generation of public works employees. Also, check out our Editors’ pick: 10 cool National Public Works Week ideas on the last page!