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.


Kitsap County Public Works, Kitsap County, Wash.

Population: 255,000
Service area: 394 square miles
No. employees: 270
Budget: $128,411,772
Services: Solid Waste, Wastewater, Surface & Stormwater Management, Public Information Office, Fleet Management, Engineering, Transportation, Operations
Approximate cost: $3,000



Five tips from Kitsap County Public Works

1. Work closely with guidance counselors to meet students’ informational needs.
2. Develop and give teachers a detailed schedule for the day.
3. Cover broad topics rather than specific ones; for example, cover engineering as a whole rather than each specific type of engineer in the department.
4. Involve employees who have passion for what they do.
5. Don’t waste time organizing an event if the department director doesn’t support the effort.

Road Trip!

What kid wouldn’t jump on the chance to skip school for a day? But although they’re not in class, Kitsap County, Wash., students are learning.

Each Monday of NPWW, the Public Works Department invites sophomores, juniors, and seniors to the county’s administration building to meet elected officials and learn about government jobs. After the presentation, the students hop on the bus for a short drive to the Public Works Annex. There, they learn about geographic information systems and see road equipment, before moving on to the county’s Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility, Olympic View Transfer Station, and the City of Bremerton’s award-winning 7.6 mgd wastewater treatment plant.

At each stop an employee describes his or her job, skills needed, and compensation. Then it’s off to the Board of County Commissioners chambers for lunch and a presentation about the department’s summer help program.

Students are chosen by guidance counselors at four high schools: Central Kitsap, Olympic, Bremerton, and South Kitsap. In the past, the cost of busing children from place to place forced the department to limit the number of participants to 15. This year, demand was higher, so the department and schools reached a verbal agreement for the schools to provide transportation to accommodate more students.

Public works launched the NPWW outreach program with a public Open House when the department got a new annex in 2004. Since the facility’s opening coincided with NPWW, officials decided to make an event out of it. In 2006, the department began an all-day program for elementary school students, held on Tuesday of NPWW. Six classrooms of children tour the transfer station, learn how traffic signs are made, play a public works “game show”, explore equipment, and learn how the sewer system works. The day is divided into six 30-minutes sessions and classes rotate through the sessions.

“Teachers say it’s their favorite field trip,” says Public Communications Manager Doug Bear.

With almost 20 employees retiring over the next five years, managers think it’s important to the department’s future to keep the program going year after year. “There’s value in communicating that there are sustainable careers in public works,” he says.

Click to the next page to see 10 cool National Public Works Week ideas