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How to Apply


To be eligible for APWA’s Emerging Leaders Academy, candidates must be:
  • Individuals who have been working in the field of public works or performing public works-related functions for no more than 10 years but have been promoted into their first leadership role within the past three years. (Note: the total number of years includes public works-related employment at both public and private agencies.)
  • Interested in advancing their careers within the public works profession
  • Committed to full participation in all Emerging Leader Academy assignments and activities, with the full support of their agency’s executive leadership.
  • Participation in a pre-application conference call. Check the Emerging Leaders Academy page for announcement of date of this call.


  • Participation on monthly Emerging Leaders Academy class conference calls
  • Timely submission of program-related homework assignments
  • Attendance at the Emerging Leaders Academy Retreat in Kansas City, Missouri (check the Emerging Leaders Academy page for announcement of date of this retreat)
  • Attendance at APWA's PWX  event in Orlando, Florida (Check the Emerging Leaders Academy page for announcement of date of this event)
  • Financial support from designated sponsor for attendance at PWX (Note: this includes PWX registration fee, round-trip travel costs, hotel accommodations and meals).
  • Completion of class project
  • Member of APWA (if not a current member)


Check the Emerging Leaders Academy page for announcement of the deadline for receipt of applications and supporting materials for the next class. Selected applicants will be notified approximately one month after application deadline.

A completed application packet includes five components:

  • Current resume (no more than two pages long)
  • Completed Program Agreement Form, signed by the applicant, the applicant’s department or division head, and the applicant’s financial sponsor confirming support for attendance at APWA's PWX event in Orlando, FL
  • Letter of recommendation from a colleague in public works profession (e.g., co-worker, mentor, colleague from another organization, etc.)
  • Letter of recommendation from the applicant’s immediate supervisor
  • A completed and signed Application Form


Successful candidates have:
  • Demonstrated a commitment to leadership in their organization and their community
  • Sought growth in responsibility in their organization
  • Envisioned a more significant leadership role in their organization and their community in the future
  • Clearly defined goals
  • A willingness to contribute to the success of the Emerging Leaders Academy class
  • Submitted a complete application package to be received by APWA no later than 12 Noon CDT Friday, August 12, 2016.

For each successful applicant, APWA National will pay for all approved Emerging Leaders Academy-related expenses EXCEPT costs associated with attendance at PWX.