Spotlight On... Series

PWX@Home works around your busy lifestyle. You can choose one afternoon per month to set aside and embrace an all-new virtual learning experience. The second Tuesday of each month from August through July, APWA will unveil education in 12 key public works focus areas. The series features sessions on relevant topics—most of which were selected for PWX 2020 in varying formats to maximize learning and engagement.

With the launch of PWX@Home we're also introducing Proficiency Levels for each of our programs. These proficiency levels have been designed to help participants better select programs that match with their professional development needs.
Click here for more information.

Registration discounts are available when registering groups and for the entire series.

Thank You To Our Welcome Sponsor



Single Spotlight On Registration

 # of Registrations
 Members  Non-Members
 1  $50  $75
 2 $100
$150
 3 $150 $225
 4 $200 $300
 5 $250 $375
 6 $270 $420
 7 $315 $490
 8 $360 $560
 9 $405 $630
 10 $450
$700

Annual Spotlight On Registration

 # of Registrations
 Members  Non-Members
 1  $475  $750
 2 $900
$1,420
 3 $1,350 $2,130
 4 $1,800 $2,840
 5 $2,250 $3,550
 6 $2,550 $4,050
 7 $2,975 $4,725
 8 $3,400 $5,400
 9 $3,825 $6,075
 10 $4,250
$6,750

 

August: UPROW

August 11, 2020
1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. CT

Registration is $50 for members and $75 for non-members. Registration discounts are available when registering groups and for the entire annual series.

Register for August      Register for Annual Series

Preventing Damage to Utilities: Data-Informed Strategies for Working with Excavators and Locators to Protect Utility Integrity

Speaker: Khrysanne Kerr

Preventing costly and inconvenient damages to buried utilities is a challenge for public works operators, especially because it requires coordination between a variety of third parties including excavators and utility line locators. Focus groups with excavators and locators have revealed a variety of tactics that facility owners can employ to partner more deeply and realistically with these groups who are so critical to maintaining the integrity of buried utilities. Common Ground Alliance, the national non-profit leader for utility damage prevention, will share the data from recent quantitative and qualitative research with these two stakeholder groups, as well as public works-specific data trends from its most recent national Damage Information Reporting Tool (DIRT) Report, to provide actionable strategies that public works operators can employ to achieve better outcomes when digging activity occurs on or around their facilities.

Proficiency Level: Introductory

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify specific strategies for working with excavators and utility line locators to prevent excavation-related damage to public works facilities
2. Discern the various available damage prevention outreach and education tactics available and act with confidence when deciding on how and when to implement them
3. Administer a utility damage prevention program that is data-driven, stakeholder-informed and measurable


Surfing the 5G/Small Cell Tsunami: Managing the Millions of New Cell Towers and MAKING MILLIONS from Them!

Speakers: Dave Zelenok, George Wentz

Over the next 7 years, the telecommunications companies will be needing nearly 1 Million cell towers to meet the 5G demand. In addition to new small cell towers, they will need fiber optic and antenna upgrades on all of the 320,000 existing ones. To put that number in perspective, a typical city will soon have nearly TWICE the number of cell towers as they have streetlights–more than one tower per city block. Worse yet, each new tower will require at least 2 street cuts, causing an unprecedented impact of millions of street cuts, and associated traffic congestion, potholes, and massive disruption to our national infrastructure. The news isn’t all bad though. In response, many cities are adopting innovative strategies to not only manage this “tsunami”, but actually partnering with the telecommunications companies, municipalizing, and re-purposing their street lights, and charging as much as $3,000 for each of the hundreds of new towers, creating millions in new sources of revenue. Other cities have been even more visionary. They are “flipping” their annual streetlight systems from “must pays” (liabilities) to “cash cows”, or revenue streams. Learn how your public works agency can manage the oncoming tsunami of 5G/Small Cell deployments in your community and negotiate win-win outcomes that benefit carriers while addressing key community concerns, such as aesthetics and public safety.

Proficiency Level: Applied

Learning Objectives:
1. Examine case studies from communities like theirs and what they have done to combat the wave of millions of small cell towers, street cuts, radio frequency (RF) radiation problems, increased load for permits, plan reviews, street cuts, and inspections
2. Explore what they can do to get ahead of the Small Cell wave by collaborating with telecommunication providers while revising your permitting programs and practices
3. Transform and “gigafy” your city, creating ultra-fast municipal broadband networks by re-purposing traffic signals and street lighting during the massively disruptive small cell installations

 


Jam Session: 5G/Small Cell

Speakers: Padriac Corcoran, John Cooper, Ken Demlow, Sean Garcia, Alicia Turner, Monty Zimmerman

The demand for faster and more reliable communications is essential for rural and urban communities worldwide. But are you keeping up with the latest federal guidelines, legislation at all levels of government (including funding), and technological innovations driving this industry? How is this affecting your ability to manage the rights-of-way? Join this session for an update on the current issues related to 5G, small cell and broadband expansion and to ask questions of some experts in this field. This session is sponsored by the Utilities and Public Rights-of-Way (UPROW) Committee.

Proficiency Level: Applied

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify opportunities to advocate for maintaining municipalities’ ability to manage the rights-of-way effectively and understand existing and pending legislation related to 5G/small cell/broadband technology
2. Expand knowledge of 5G/small cell/broadband technology and installation requirements, including knowing legal rights and available resources for dealing with community deployment of 5G/small cell/broadband
3. Create a plan for managing the deployment of 5G/small cell/broadband technology using information from post-deployment communities

September: Fleet

September 8, 2020
1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. CT

Registration is $50 for members and $75 for non-members. Registration discounts are available when registering groups and for the entire annual series.

Register for September      Register for Annual Series

Why Smarter Cities Start With Smarter Fleets

Speaker: Sherry Wu

Nearly 70% of the world population is expected to live in urban areas by 2050. As a result, more cities are turning to smart technology for data and insights to inform the way future residents work, live, play, and move. With over 75% of governments facing severe budget constraints, however, how can public sector leaders find the resources to implement smart city projects? How can leaders build internal capacity to create efficient, safe, and sustainable communities? Join this session to hear how cities such as Fort Lauderdale and Boston are building smarter cities with smarter fleets. Learn how you can implement fleet-level programs to generate city-level results, such as: boosting urban mobility and public transit ridership with a 10% improvement in ETA predictability, increasing operational efficiency and sustainability with a 20% reduction in idling and a smoother transition to electric vehicles, and improving citizen and employee safety, through video-based driver safety programs.

Proficiency Level: Introductory

Learning Objectives:
1. Discern why cities are focusing on smart technologies
2. Illustrate how fleet managers can play a key role in helping city leaders achieve their smart city vision
3. Explain how to implement smart city technologies and deliver results


Deploying an AVL Solution Across a Large Fleet: Lessons Learned and Best Practices

Speakers: Craig Berndt, Rick Durham

The Commonwealth of Kentucky Light Duty Fleet is largely owned by the Finance Cabinet and leased to other agencies with agencies own their own heavy duty and specialty vehicles. With several thousand vehicles, Kentucky's Transportation Cabinet (KYTC), Division of Equipment owns and operates the largest agency-owned fleet and is the largest customer of the Finance Cabinet's Division of Fleet Management in the state. As new technologies have emerged, this KYTC fleet has been outfitted and refitted with new, more advanced AVL devices several times in the past few years. These include everything from basic plug and play tracking devices, to hardwired specialty devices to decode complex winter operations data with multiple sensors. Most recently, this entire fleet was refitted with new devices to bring even more capabilities to a robust fleet solution that now includes Winter Material Management, complex engine diagnostics, sensor data, and various integrations to automate accounting and management functions. Lessons learned can be applied at large state agencies by examining the entire deployment and at the municipal level by examining the district and county level activity.

Proficiency Level: Advanced

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify bottlenecks, blockers and barriers they will need to plan for during a wide scale AVL deployment
2. Budget for appropriate installation resources, either internal or external, to deploy an AVL system
3. Prepare their staff and internal customers for change and deployment of an AVL system


Fleet Open Forum

Speakers: Mark Stinson (Chair), Sarak Mark, Scott McIver, Don Miller, Carlos Osterroth

This interactive session will be facilitated by members of the Fleet Management Committee. Participants will have the opportunity to share challenges encountered and solutions discovered as a fleet professional, as well as to hear about APWA’s Certified Public Fleet Professional (CPFP) certification and new Public Fleet Management Certificate program.

Proficiency Level: Applied

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain APWA’s Certified Public Fleet Professional (CPFP) certification and Public Fleet Management Certificate program offerings
2. Discuss solutions for challenges fleet professionals are facing
3. Identify the APWA Fleet Management Committee’s organizational goals

October: Winter Maintenance

October 13, 2020
1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. CT

Registration is $50 for members and $75 for non-members. Registration discounts are available when registering groups and for the entire annual series.

Register for October      Register for Annual Series

Pavement Gone to Pot? Patching and Preventing Potholes.

Speaker: David Bergner, Mike Hale

Potholes, like cold, snow and ice, come with winter. They are most prolific later in the season as freeze-thaw cycles are the primary cause of pothole formation. Potholes generate the most complaints to transportation agencies about road conditions; they aggravate drivers, cause costly damage to vehicles, impede the flow of traffic, cause accidents due to loss of control or sudden swerving to avoid them, present hazards to pedestrians and those on bicycles and motorcycles, and lead to further deterioration of the roadway. Timely and reliable patching of potholes is vital to restoring safety, mobility and capacity to our streets, roads and highways. Yet many agencies lack the information, training and resources to effectively and efficiently repair these proliferating problems. Aside from traditional methods of throw-and-roll with cold patch and cut-and-fill with hot patch, there are new products and methods that are becoming more cost-efficient. Furthermore, agencies need to focus more on identifying "precursors", those pavement defects that will eventually lead to potholes if not corrected. Most agencies do not have adequate funding for all necessary preventive measures that would mitigate pothole formation. This session will examine pothole formation, review the various temporary and permanent repair methods, describe the different pavement defects that contribute to potholes, and establishing a year-round pothole "find-and-fix" program.

Proficiency Level: Applied

Learning Objectives:
1. Determine what would be the best methods and materials for patching under varying conditions.
2. Explain how and why potholes form.
3. Develop a year-round program of pothole repairs and preventive measures.

Communicating your Winter Maintenance Plan

Speaker: John Parsons

Discover the ins and outs of the City of London, Ontario’s Winter Operations Plan in this comprehensive education session. The city’s Division Manager of Roads Operations will be on hand to discuss all things equipment, resource, budget and service level-related. Find out how they have managed the expectations of staff and contracted resources while implementing a customer service call tracking system. Attendees will also get a glimpse into how London leverages local media using innovative approaches like inviting local media to their operations yard for Q&A and harnessing the power of social media to provide members of their community with live updates on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook (snow removal updates on their Twitter feed alone resulted in 275,084 impressions!).

Proficiency Level: Applied

Learning Objectives:
1. Communicate their winter maintenance plan
2. Promote their service levels and expectations to the road, sidewalk and cycling community
3. Develop a communications plan using social media to inspire feedback that can be used to enhance the user experience

Lessons From the Lab – Enhanced Liquid Deicers

Speaker: Scott Koefod

Plain salt brine is the most commonly used liquid deicer, but agencies often use a variety of more complex brine blends to seek enhanced performance. Field experience is always the ultimate arbiter of effectiveness of any deicer, but it can usually only judge on a coarse, qualitative basis. Laboratory studies permit a more precise understanding of deicer performance properties and can provide valuable supporting information about the effectiveness expected from deicing chemicals. This presentation will focus on what we are learning about the fundamental performance properties of enhanced brine blends under controlled conditions in the laboratory. Topics will include: how common brine enhancers affect ice melting capacity and rate? Low temperature performance? Pre-wet performance? What is the optimum brine concentration? What causes some brine blends to turn into “mayonnaise” and how to avoid it? Under what circumstances are enhanced brine blends likely to be most useful?

Proficiency Level: Advanced

Learning Objectives:
1. Determine when enhanced brines can provide the most value.
2. Prepare stable brine blends without formation of solids.
3. Select the brine enhancers needed for their particular application.

November: Operations & Maintenance

November 10, 2020
1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. CT

Registration is $50 for members and $75 for non-members. Registration discounts are available when registering groups and for the entire annual series.

Register for November      Register for Annual Series

Workforce for the Workforce: Integrating a Work Order Management System with GIS for Mobile Inspections

Speakers: Shauncey Battle-Williams, Jody Tarvin-Hall

Conducting site inspections in the field through a typical work order management system has its challenges. This presentation will explore The City of Atlanta’s Department of Public Works efforts to enhance efficiencies with workflow management and new technology. The City’s existing approach has been segmented with varying degrees of operational success. The process employed used ESRI software applications that read existing databases and tied directly to GPS enabled handheld devices. Too often, recording and reporting work orders was seen as a success while deployment and incident completion lagged far behind. With the new technologies, connecting a User’s work request flowing to work completed has been unified. This session will help other municipalities and stakeholder embrace new methodologies without the cost of deleting existing practices and procedures.

Proficiency Level: Introductory

Learning Objectives:
1. Modernize service request workflow
2. Justify feasibility of moving to this form of a work order management system
3. Deploy Workforce for ArcGIS for field inspections

Pavement Preservation: Roads in Jeopardy!

Speaker: David Orr

Pavement preservation is an excellent way to maintain and improve roads and streets. The key is to select the right treatment at the right time in the right place. Come join the fun and see if you can select the proper repair technique for your highways.

Proficiency Level: Applied

Learning Objectives:
1. Select the proper treatment for preserving a pavement
2. Identify safety practices associated with pavement preservation activities
3. Separate preservation work from more extensive operations

Empowering Employees to Achieving Organizational Excellence

Speakers: Bret Hodne, Matt Dolan, Kevin Hensley

This session will explore the journey the City of West Des Moines Public Services embarked on to change the culture within its organization and the results that have been achieved. The organization started down the road with the implementation of a City-wide Quality Initiative several years ago. Based upon the success of this program, the City continued to seek out enhanced methods to empower all levels of staff to be part of this overall cultural shift. While the agency has realized tremendous success, it also experienced some challenges along the way. The speakers will share the experiences they have encountered while on this journey to achieve organizational excellence.

Proficiency Level: Advanced

Learning Objectives:
1. Explore some of the successes and challenges associated with cultural change
2. Implement change and deal with resistance to it within your organization
3. Discuss generational and demographic trends in the workplace


December: Leadership & Management

December 8, 2020
1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. CT

Registration is $50 for members and $75 for non-members. Registration discounts are available when registering groups and for the entire annual series.

Register for December      Register for Annual Series

Span of Control: Using it as a Strategic Tool for Organizational Planning

Speakers: Harry Lorick, John Lyons

Span of control (SOC) is the number of people a manager can supervise effectively, and can be broadly categorized as narrow or wide. Understanding the cost/benefit of wide versus narrow spans of control, and implementing the appropriate span, is paramount to an agency’s success. With improvements in technology/CMMS, agencies have increased their span of control to an average between 5:1 to 8:1, with some agencies functioning at over 20:1. Increases in SOC help agencies save money and operate more efficiently, however, it is not necessarily the most beneficial structure. This presentation will identify the different categories associated with SOC, affecting factors, impact, and applicable concepts. The relationship between span of control and management levels will be discussed. Moving towards an optimal SOC will improve the morale of both management and staff. The audience will learn what other agencies have experienced and be able to identify the value of appropriate spans of control. The first speaker, as Assistant County Administrator of one of the largest Counties in Florida, is a seasoned public works and public utilities professional. The second speaker is a PWLF and member of APWA’s Leadership and Management Committee.

Proficiency Level: Applied

Learning Objectives:
1. Recognize the span of control within an agency and be aware of the relationship to management levels and efficiency
2. Discuss the factors that affect the span of control, including new technologies and how they may apply to an agency
3. Apply general management concepts to identify appropriate span of control within their agency


Developing a Culture of Leadership

Speakers: Zach Blodgett, Laura Yanez, Jason Stawski, Rocky Henkel, Jacqueline Thompson

The intent of this project is to help professionals in the Public Works field develop a culture of leadership within all levels of their organization and provide opportunities to lead in real life situations, including in times of crisis. Additionally, to provide resources and tools to help others understand and implement ways to identify, empower, and entrust emerging leaders. By reflecting on ideas, tactics, and principles, professionals who implement these can assist in building a culture of leadership within their organization.

Proficiency Level: Applied

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify organizational leadership needs and leadership potential within individuals for the purpose of equipping them to develop as effective leaders to fill those needs.
2. Empower leaders to foster growth and develop a culture that supports leadership.
3. Develop opportunities to Entrust leaders to gain leadership experience within the workplace that will allow them to lead in real life situations, including times of a crisis.


Safety First: Going Beyond the Slogans

Speakers: John Kellas, Steve Aitcheson, Jeffrey Castonguay, James Patteson

What does the phrase “Safety First” mean to you? Is it a slogan, or does it drive everything you do? Explore lessons learned by two agencies on how to go beyond the slogans and create a safety-first culture that REALLY prevents injuries and saves lives. Public Works employees perform duties that are amongst the most dangerous in America. Refuse collectors and maintenance workers suffer higher fatality rates than their counterparts in public safety. After a fatal accident, Fairfax County transformed its program from one that provided a false sense of security to one with a values-based approach focused on accountability. Their program became nationally recognized as most improved by SWANA. Carroll County initiated a “From Zero to Robust” program to launch numerous safety initiatives. Creating a safe workplace is a core responsibility of every employer, and this presentation will provide lessons learned, how-to strategies, and innovative approaches on how to build a meaningful program in your organization.

Proficiency Level: Applied

Learning Objectives:
1. Evaluate organizational safety programs and identify leadership, management, and system gaps.
2. Implement innovative approaches and technologies to develop a robust, values-center safety program that goes beyond mere compliance and improves worker morale and performance.
3. Utilize predictive performance metrics and leading indicators to reduce injuries and accidents.

January 2021: Engineering & Technology, Asset Management

January 12, 2021
1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. CT

Registration is $50 for members and $75 for non-members. Registration discounts are available when registering groups and for the entire annual series.

Register for January      Register for Annual Series

Linking Mobile Solutions to Assets, Work and Time Reporting

Speakers: John Medlock, Harry Lorick

This presentation demonstrates Alameda’s integration of mobile applications for work requests, asset inspection, and time reporting through CMMS and payroll system linkages. Attendees will learn how to best utilize technology alongside their existing CMMS. Mobile solutions are advantageous for field operations and reporting, offering a simplified, intuitive software while a synced mobile tool allows employees to quickly log pertinent information without a home base logging station. Linking asset management to mobile solutions modernizes business processes for field related inspections. Mobile asset management facilitates organizational transparency, increases personnel productivity, and provides infrastructure insights. This session highlights how mobile tech can link to both CMMS and payroll to simplify operating procedures/duplicate data entry. Lessons learned from applying mobile technology and providing linkages to other systems will be addressed, and an innovative mobile app example will be demonstrated.

Proficiency Level: Applied

Learning Objectives:
1. Measure and demonstrate the advantages and disadvantages of using mobile compatible software for asset, work, and time reporting management
2.  Conceptualize how an asset and work management system with mobile technologies can link to multiple systems such as an agency’s payroll and accounting solutions which reduces redundant data entry
3.  Demonstrate how mobile applications can be used in maintenance and understand how to select the appropriate mobile application for their agency’s use


Increase Your Options with Alternative Project Delivery Methods

Speakers: Shane Silsby, Khalid Bazmi, Edward Frondoso

What is the best way to deliver a project? It depends. Is the project scope driven, schedule driven, or budget driven? Do we need contractor input during the design phase? Do we want to control the design? What are the risks involved? How much time do we have before we need to break ground? Many factors should be considered before selecting a project delivery method. Each method has its own benefits and potential disadvantages, but ultimately it is in the agency’s best interest to have the option to choose. Over the past four years, OC Public Works has embraced Alternative Project Delivery Methods (APDM), including Job Order Contracting (JOC), Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR), and Design-Build (DB). Session presenters will share their delivery method selection process, lessons learned, best practices, case studies, and how they took advantage of APDM to more efficiently deliver their Capital Improvement Program (CIP) and Maintenance Improvement Program (MIP).

Proficiency Level: Applied

Learning Objectives:
1. Evaluate the benefits of Alternative Project Delivery Methods (APDM), including Job Order Contracting (JOC), Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR), and Design-Build (DB)
2.  Identify when it is appropriate to use APDM
3. Discuss best practices for implementing APDM

Virtual Reality in Public Building Design: Immerse Yourself

Speakers: Svetlana Kortova, William Lam, Seiya Okada

The design of civic buildings, from fire stations to health centers, has gone high-tech in San Francisco with the use of virtual reality and real-time rendering tools. The San Francisco Public Works Bureau of Architecture now can let clients, in this case other city departments, “walk through” buildings and get a feel for the space using virtual reality technology. Design changes can be made instantly based on feedback. The benefits are many: architects can communicate their designs more clearly by offering clients an immersive experience; design decisions can be made quicker and with more confidence; ideas can be worked through at scale; and workflow can be expedited. Session presenters will share which software and equipment works best, how to minimize people using virtual reality goggles from experiencing motion sickness, and how to find the right balance of design elements for a virtual reality tour to keep the focus on the most important aspects of the envisioned project.

Proficiency Level: Applied

Learning Objectives:
1. Incorporate technology into the project design process
2. Develop staff expertise in emerging technology
3. Bolster client confidence and understanding

 

February 2021: Water Resources

February 9, 2021
1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. CT

Registration is $50 for members and $75 for non-members. Registration discounts are available when registering groups and for the entire annual series.

Register for February      Register for Annual Series

City of Coral Gables - Cost Effective Approach to Infiltration and Inflow Abatement Utilizing Trenchless Technologies

Speakers: Jorge Acevedo, Paola Davalos

The City of Coral Gables is located within Miami-Dade County, Florida. The city owns, operates, and maintains its Sanitary Sewer Collection System. Wastewater flows from the city are then discharged into Miami-Dade Water and Sewer System for treatment and disposal. As a Volume Sewer Customer of Miami-Dade County, the City of Coral Gables has seen tremendous success in reducing its billing costs by reducing wastewater flows through an aggressive Infiltration and Inflow (I/I) abatement program. For each 100 gallons per minute of I/I reduced, the city saves over $162,000 on billings annually, in addition to savings in power costs, pumping, and operation and maintenance activities associated with the I/I flow. The city’s I/I abatement program’s success is directly linked to the utilization of trenchless technologies such as Pipe Bursting, Sliplining, and Cured-In-Place Pipe. These trenchless techniques have not only been extremely cost-effective, but have also allowed for rehabilitation and repair of sewers while minimizing impact on the community, both in residential neighborhoods, and in the city’s vibrant downtown area.

Proficiency Level: Applied

Learning Objectives:
1. Recognize the performance of trenchless techniques in reducing I/I as determined through flow measurements taken before and after the sewer rehabilitation
2. Analyze the interrelationship between Wastewater Flow Data, Rainfall Data, Tidal Elevation and Groundwater Table Elevation as these relate to estimating I/I
3. Develop I/I Corrective Action Plans and implement cost-effective rehabilitation/repair methods utilizing trenchless techniques
4. Prepare a community outreach and engagement strategy to obtain input to align the needs of community stakeholders with the goals of a project


Communicating PFAS Discoveries and EPA Action Plan Impacts to the Press and the Public

Speaker: Mike McGill

The discoveries of man-made, contaminants of emerging concern (CECs), especially a group of chemicals names PFAS, constitute the greatest future threat to public confidence in our nation’s drinking water. The sheer number of these contaminants and the lack of health and safety data on all of them, combined with new, disruptive developments that are occurring nearly every week, could lead many of our customers to question whether or not they should turn on their taps. That’s why it’s more important than ever that utilities become or stay the go-to source for information about their drinking water. While it is understandable that new drinking water standards take time to be correctly developed, the lack of expediency with the EPA’s Action Plan put the responsibility for addressing the PFAS problem back onto the states. Meanwhile, testing being conducted by academics and activists are vastly outpacing the regulatory process. The headlines their test results are generating are forcing states to come up with new drinking water standards. Fast. States are creating new standards based on a combination of scientific data and political expediency. The checkerboard effect is leading to frustration and anger from the public, which is already confused over how these chemicals were allowed to enter into our source waters in the first place. WaterPIO has been in the middle of handling PFAS communications since 2016 and emerging contaminant communications since 2008.

Proficiency Level: Advanced

Learning Objectives:
1.  Examine the latest information about the discoveries of PFAS in drinking water and how the EPA and state governments are reacting to the latest news
2.  Plan for a PFAS discovery that could permanently damage the utility's reputation if public communications are mishandled
3. Utilize the public and key stakeholder messages that have helped water and wastewater service providers explain the impacts of PFAS discoveries on their services

March 2021: Solid Waste

March 9, 2021
1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. CT

Registration is $50 for members and $75 for non-members. Registration discounts are available when registering groups and for the entire annual series.

Register for March      Register for Annual Series

Concurrent Jam Sessions

Food – Don’t Waste a Good Resource
Speaker: Monica Bramble
Brought to you by the APWA Solid Waste Management Committee, this interactive session will allow attendees to learn how their colleagues around the US are diverting food waste from disposal. Food waste is a critical problem in the US with over 30% food loss at the retail and consumer levels. As landfilling or incinerating this waste is the least preferred outcome, discover what other methods have been proven successful.
Learning Objectives:
  1. Discover how other agencies are diverting food waste from disposal.
  2. Assess how strategies could transfer to your organization.
  3. Gain insight on best management practices.
Zero Waste – Can it really be done? Practical applications as told by former public sector leaders who have been in your shoes.
Speakers: John Carlton, Jim McKay
This presentation will provide perspectives from several current and former public sector leaders as they navigate their paths to zero waste. Discussions will include mandatory versus voluntary programs, materials bans and their effectiveness, public acceptance, and challenges to changing behavior of both residents and businesses. We will discuss what we have found to work, and what we found not to work. Lastly we will discuss what Zero Waste really means to each of us and invite a broader discussion on what is truly possible within our communities.
Learning Objectives:
  1. Recognize how different communities define Zero Waste.
  2. Navigate challenges to changing waste disposal behavior.
  3. Implement effective waste diversion strategies.
Sustainability on Steroids
Speakers: Mark Spafford, John Carlton
Brought to you by the APWA Solid Waste Management Committee, this interactive session will show attendees how their colleagues around the U.S. are diverting food waste from disposal. Food waste is a critical problem in the U.S., with over 30% food loss at the retail and consumer levels. As landfilling or incinerating this waste is the least preferred outcome, discover what other methods have been proven successful.
Learning Objectives:
  1. Describe how other agencies are diverting food waste from disposal.
  2. Assess how strategies could transfer to their organization.
  3. Explain best management practices.

Developing Financially Sustainable Organic Recovery Systems

Speaker: Karen Luken

Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year—approximately 1.3 billion tons—gets lost or wasted. Food loss and waste also amount to a major squandering of resources, including water, land, energy, labor, and capital and needlessly produce greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to global warming and climate change. Finally, a U.S. city with a population of 100,000 spends an average of over a million dollars a year landfilling food waste. Thus, public works departments have been receiving an increasing number of requests from citizens, government officials, and community activists to begin or expand programs to recover food waste. In addition, the Chinese Sword has reduced and even eliminated the value of many recyclables that municipalities collect. Because of this market downturn, cities are increasingly interested in diverting material that can be sold domestically. Organics, such as food waste, can be converted into compost and renewable energy that have a local market value for both the solid waste and wastewater treatment divisions of public works departments. These conditions make food waste an attractive material for public works directors to target for recovery. While there is definitely an abundance of food being landfill disposed, building a food waste recovery infrastructure that is technically and financially sustainable requires careful analysis of costs and revenue potential, the most appropriate technologies, and desire of food waste generators to convert food waste into a resource.

Proficiency Level: Advanced

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify the various technologies used to compost food waste and convert food waste to biogas at waste water treatment , and how these technologies interface with operating logistics such as acreage available and waste water treatment facility permits
2. Realize the capital and O&M costs associated with designing, developing, and operating a food waste recovery system
3. Describe how to assess market conditions for securing organic feedstock, selling a marketable product, and evaluation of the relationship between local and international markets since the Chinese Sword

Disaster Debris - Cleaning Up After an Event

Speaker: Monica Bramble

Hosted by the APWA Solid Waste Management Committee, this discussion focuses on lessons learned in disaster debris. Whether it is cleaning up after a hurricane, tornado, or wild fire, solid waste agencies are key to getting communities back to normal after a disaster event. Come explore what others have done and share your experiences on this critical topic.Hosted by the APWA Solid Waste Management Committee, this discussion focuses on lessons learned in disaster debris. Whether it is cleaning up after a hurricane, tornado, or wild fire, solid waste agencies are key to getting communities back to normal after a disaster event. Come explore what others have done and share your experiences on this critical topic.

Proficiency Level: TBD

Learning Objectives:
1. Recognize and plan for circumstances that interrupt solid waste service during a natural disaster
2. Examine how other agencies have successfully managed disaster debris
3. Integrate best management practices into your agency

April 2021: Facilities & Grounds

April 13, 2021
1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. CT

Registration is $50 for members and $75 for non-members. Registration discounts are available when registering groups and for the entire annual series.

Register for April      Register for Annual Series

Urban Forest Master Plans: Partnering to Develop a Plan that Costs Your City Less, Engages More Stakeholders, and Ultimately Helps to Manage Your Urban Forest Effectively

Speakers: Dana Karcher, Matt Grubisich

Everything is Bigger in Texas, even urban forest master plans! With more partners, more input, more meetings, and more surveys, the urban forest master plan for the City of Dallas is thorough, engaging, and demands accountability. How did this happen and what did it take to get to this point? This talk will share the unique relationship among the Texas Trees Foundation, the City of Dallas, and their local citizens in the development of an UFMP. Presenters will share how this plan is funded, (here’s a hint, the majority of the funds are from a donor), new ways to engage citizens in meetings (not at city hall), and how not to allow the plan to sit on the shelf in the urban forester’s office. With sustainability, healthy communities, cleaner air, stormwater management, pest eradication, and walkable neighborhoods on every city’s list of wants, learn how Dallas’ urban forest master plan goes beyond tree management and addresses the needs of the City and the region.

Proficiency Level: Applied

Learning Objectives:
1.  Collaborate and coordinate with stakeholders to obtain and drive what the city and the citizens need in an urban forest master plan
2.  Negotiate the prosperity and pitfalls of working on a project that is not fully funded by the city, but that will influence the city’s urban forest for years to come
3. Improve community engagement across the city through unique tools, meetings, and marketing


The ADA and Local Government Facilities – Winning Compliance Strategies

Speaker: Heidi Lapin, John McGovern

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has applied to units of state and local government since January 26, 1992. In the 1990s, many governmental agencies were confused by the requirements. In the 2000s, the ADA was more warmly embraced. In the 2010s, the ADA mandates became much clearer, with many court decisions and the amendment of the design standards. This session provides strategies for applying the ADA to facilities, including City Hall, police station, cemetery, public works facility, parks, pools, sport fields, community centers, and beaches. Access is a function of design, construction and installation, and maintenance, and presenters will discuss common errors in each and offer easy remedies to ensure compliance. The session will use case studies from other jurisdictions, asking attendees to consider what side of the decision their agency would be on…the right side or the wrong side. The presenters bring unique local government perspective to the session. One speaker earned a law degree while working in local government. That education, with his local government experience, rule-making experience, and familiarity with the ADA, gives him a unique perspective on compliance with the ADA. The other speaker worked for local governments in Parks and Recreation and Facilities for more than 20 years. She brings firsthand knowledge of facility operations and construction projects, and has managed the teams that must ensure compliance.

Proficiency Level: TBD

Learning Objectives:
1.  Determine the resources where they can find the ADA standard and better define the requirements
2.  Integrate their knowledge of the ADA standards in planning, designing, building, and maintaining City and County facilities
3. Recognize common ADA facility maintenance mistakes and implement smart practices

May 2021: Sustainability

May 11, 2021
1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. CT

Registration is $50 for members and $75 for non-members. Registration discounts are available when registering groups and for the entire annual series.

Register for May      Register for Annual Series

The Business Case for Sustainability: Maximizing the Economics of Your Infrastructure Investments

Speakers: Steph Larocque, James Patteson

The principles of sustainability ask designers to consider the three E’s – Environment, Equity, and Economics. This presentation focuses on how public works professionals can evaluate program choices considering comprehensive life-cycle costs to best serve their communities. Too often, sustainable approaches are not pursued due to a misconception that these features are “cost plus” nice-to-haves. The discussion is, “I’d like to do more and know it’s the right thing to do, but I don’t have the budget….” Decisions are made to pursue compliance minimums, while a better thought-out, high-performance approach, would provide a better long-term solution. The manufacturing, retail, and construction industries have learned this lesson and actively incorporate sustainable practices to gain market advantage. Google, Walmart, and the US Navy all embrace smarter, more resilient investments. They have learned that sustainability spurs innovation, creates consumer trust and brand loyalty, improves employee attraction and retention, and reduces cost. This session will use local government case studies to show how to apply design tools to evaluate more sustainable solutions and conduct comprehensive life-cycle economic analysis. “How-to” tips will be provided on tools like Envision, LEED, and other practical applications. Lessons learned will be shared on how to effectively engage staff, the community, and elected officials to inform and educate them on sustainability.

Proficiency Level: Applied

Learning Objectives:
1. Analyze and communicate the benefits of sustainability that accrue to a community considering improved equity, environment, and with a focus on the financials
2. Educate governing bodies and advocate for higher performance, more resilient practices and policies based on evidence-based research and data
3. Utilize economic tools to analyze innovative approaches to deliver public works projects in a manner that serves the community in a more sustainable way


Public Agencies Can Save the World!: Steps Public Agencies can Take to Address Climate Change

Speakers: Katie Harrel, Josette Descalzo

Climate change discussions are becoming more and more necessary as changes to weather patterns and coastal communities are observed. California has experienced larger and more severe fires. The southeast has been impacted by stronger and more frequent hurricanes. Glaciers in Alaska are melting. Everyone is experiencing more extreme seasons. Public agencies are in a position of strength, as they are able to identify, plan, and implement policies, programs, and projects that can address climate change, as every initiative counts towards the greater good and future generations. This presentation includes a panel of engineers, public works directors, and elected officials that can discuss the process of identifying and implementing initiatives to address climate change. Climate change projects come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from light bulb replacement to green infrastructure to the creation of a new power source. Come hear how you can make a difference in your community’s future.

Proficiency Level: Applied

Learning Objectives:
1. Initiate policies, programs, and projects that will address the impacts of climate change, ranging from light replacement to green infrastructure implementation, all of which provide a level of resistance to the changing climate
2. Establish working groups that can lead the way in creating programs and policies that can be used to address climate change, starting at the city and levels
3. Present ideas to address climate change to elected officials, who can then help raise the awareness of the general public to gain support on climate change initiatives


C4S Roundtable: Envision Better Projects

Speakers: TBA

Public agencies increasingly use the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) Envision rating system to approach project planning, design, and construction with the triple bottom line in mind, there is a lot to learn from infrastructure owners and project teams who’ve used it and had their project verified. Envision v3 builds upon previous versions of the rating system to help project teams address climate change impacts, consider life-cycle costs, and advance social equity and community resilience. Hear from project teams that have used Envision about the challenges they’ve encountered, the lessons they’ve learned and the benefits they’ve seen, whether using Envision as a planning and design tool or pursuing project verification. Presenters will also address the verification process and discuss how they might approach the next project. This session is supported by the APWA Center for Sustainability (C4S).

Proficiency Level: Applied

Learning Objectives:
1. Explore Envision v3 categories, credit requirements, and the verification process by engaging in robust conversation with experienced users
2. Compare and contrast the approaches of different teams to project planning, design, and construction using Envision
3. Examine the keys to successful Envision verification

June 2021: Emergency Management

June 8, 2021
1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. CT

Registration is $50 for members and $75 for non-members. Registration discounts are available when registering groups and for the entire annual series.

Register for June      Register for Annual Series

The Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Assessment Process – unifying risk assessment, cyber security, employee safety, and continuity of operations.

Speaker: Robert Cole

The presentation details the experience of a large, full-service municipal public works department, the City of Olathe, Kansas, going through the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (DHS CISA) Protective Services and Cybersecurity Assessment processes. It will feature a roundtable including both public works and emergency management professionals as well as members of DHS CISA Protective Services and Cybersecurity groups. The discussion will focus on two main areas. First, participants will discuss specific critical areas of risk assessment, cybersecurity, employee safety, and continuity of operations, paying specific attention to basic risk assessment principles, SCADA vulnerabilities, physical security and active shooter training, and second and third order threats to service delivery. Second, participants will engage in an open discussion on the DHS CISA assessment process as it pertains to the unique needs of public works, both areas of strength and opportunities for improvement. Finally, this presentation will provide attendees the opportunity to hear from all three stakeholder groups involved in this process and gain an awareness of how this free program may be of benefit to their agency.

Proficiency Level: Introductory

Learning Objectives:
1. Review their organization’s own risk assessment processes and procedures in order to inform potential changes moving forward
2. Evaluate whether a DHS CISA assessment is suitable for their organization and how they can go about going through this free DHS program
3. Recognize elements of risk assessment that are appropriate for inclusion in America’s Water Infrastructure Act Emergency Response Plan (AWIA ERP)


National Weather Service Support and Service During Heavy Rainfall Events

Speaker: Ben Schott

This session provides attendees with an inside look at the National Weather Service (NWS) forecast process and capabilities to help improve resilience and preparedness. Discussion will walk through a few local Gulf Coast examples of heavy rainfall events: Tropical storms in Houston and an August 2016 event in Baton Rouge area. The presentation will show what we can learn from them, and what the strengths and limitations are for the NWS forecasting such events.

Proficiency Level: Advanced

Learning Objectives:
1.  Compare NWS products and services, including forecasts and warnings, information dissemination, and impact-based decision support services (IDSS) for heavy rainfall events
2.  Explain recent innovations within the NWS to enhance education and messaging of heavy rainfall and flooding hazards
3.  Describe what the science can, and cannot do for forecasting heavy rainfall

Using Technology and Social Media During a Disaster – Getting the Word Out

Speakers: Loni Eazell, Philip Mann

Hurricane Irma In 2017, Hurricane Irma made landfall and moved up the middle of Florida directly impacting Gainesville. Staff will discuss how they technology and social media were utilized to interact with their residents. This included the use of Facebook Live for telephone town hall meetings so residents could get live updates from the Mayor, City Manager, Utilities, Fire Chief, Police Chief and Public Works Director. Woolsey Fire In 2018, in approximately 12 hrs a wild fire burned nearly 97,000 acres in 2 Counties and 5 cities. It destroyed over 1,500 structures, killed 3 people, prompted the mass evacuation of over 250,000 people and destroyed essential infrastructure. L.A. County Public Works was activated for 14 days. Our GIS Team created an interactive map to capture damages. Staff created GIS tools to assist in the identification of damaged infrastructure. A website was created to provide information to constituents on the services available to those impacted.

Proficiency Level: Advanced

Learning Objectives:
1. Understand the role of technology during a disaster.
2. Leverage the use of social media during a disaster.
3. Identify options for notify and educate constituents on recovery issues after a disaster

July 2021: Transportation

July 13, 2021
1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. CT

Registration is $50 for members and $75 for non-members. Registration discounts are available when registering groups and for the entire annual series.

Register for July      Register for Annual Series

AV, CV, EV: How Much Is All This Going to Cost My City?

Speaker: Wilfred Nixon

That automated and connected vehicles will be with us soon is certain, although quite how soon this will occur is a bit uncertain. And, of course, we have electric vehicles already. So, how much should a city or other agency invest in infrastructure to ease this revolution in transportation? And what are the limitations of these new technologies? Will cities have to foot the bill, or would footing the bill give a city a competitive advantage in the new economic reality these new technologies will usher in? There are lots of questions and concerns surrounding these new technologies, and the APWA Transportation Committee’s AV/CV Sub-Committee has been pondering these and trying to highlight the most critical issues for all of us in public works. This session shares their understanding of these issues, and provides focused help to allow agencies to keep abreast of these rapidly developing technologies.

Proficiency Level: Applied

Learning Objectives:
1.  Describe how the new technologies (AV, CV, EV) will impact the transportation system over the next two decades
2.  Illustrate how infrastructure needs for these new technologies will develop and detail how these developments will impose on infrastructure budgets of cities
3.  Spell out how different funding mechanisms and partnerships may be able to address the new (and unfunded) infrastructure needs


Safe Streets Demos: Test Before You Invest.

Speakers: Debbie Hale, Ariana Green

Are you someone who likes to sample a product before you buy? Is your community striving to reduce pedestrian injuries and fatalities? If so, you will be interested in learning more about Safe Street Demos, which allow community members to “test-out” new street designs and provide feedback on whether or not the improvements should be made permanent. Safe Street Demos temporarily reconfigure the street to provide better and safer opportunities for kids, seniors, and community members to walk, bicycle, and access transit. Join the Transportation Agency for Monterey County as they share their experience implementing the Broadway Avenue Safe Street Demo, and learn how to use this low-cost tool to refine engineering designs and build community support.

Proficiency Level: Applied

Learning Objectives:
1.  Design and conduct a Safe Street Demo
2.  Measure and build public support for a proposed street improvement before investing in design, engineering and construction
3. Persuade governing bodies to invest in enhanced safe walking and bicycling infrastructure


An Unprecedented Challenge - Build a Bridge in 5 Months.

Speakers: Barron, Esposito

On March 12, 2019, the state of Nebraska was struck by a “bomb cyclone” – a storm triggered by a rapid plunge in barometric pressure that is comparable to a category 3 hurricane. It unleashed destructive winds, a crippling blizzard, and heavy rains followed by three days of massive snow, ice, and rain runoff simultaneously impacting several major drainage corridors in central and eastern Nebraska. Flooding forced the evacuations of entire communities and damaged thousands of homes and hundreds of businesses. Ice and water swept away livestock as no fewer than 17 flood records were set in the region, including on the Missouri River. As levees failed, water damaged or destroyed close to 200 miles of highway, nearly 30 state bridges, and scores of county roads. Freakish ice flows in the Niobrara River Valley nearly obliterated everything in their path, including a hydroelectric dam near Spencer. The most widespread natural disaster ever recorded in Nebraska racked up a staggering $2 billion in damage. Post flood, residents of Boyd and Holt Counties, Nebraska were enduring two-hour driving detours, which began March 14 when the historic flooding event washed away 1,000 feet of pavement at the south end of the U.S. Highway 281 bridge on the Niobrara River. This presentation shares the extraordinary effort to design and construct a highway bridge in less than five months – a process that would normally take two years.

Proficiency Level: Advanced

Learning Objectives:
1. Solve for critical bridge design challenges using drone technology, geomorphology, geotechnology, and hydrology to provide assessments for how the flooded conditions of the soil and stream would affect bridge and road design
2. Perform under pressure and within a compressed timeline
3. Succeed in designing and building a temporary 600-foot bridge on an accelerated schedule to restore highway traffic as quickly as possible