We feel it's imperative to remain connected, especially at this time. Check out our Virtual NPWW How-To Guide for ideas APWA Chapters and public works agencies can use to celebrate remotely with their communities and take advantage of social media.
Sample Events & Activities
Ask elected officials to make a proclamation
for National Public Works Week. Contact the official's office at least one month in advance. Write a brief cover letter and enclose a draft of the proclamation. In the letter, request a time to photograph the official presenting the proclamation to the designated public works representative during a scheduled public works event or a meeting. Sample proclamation available on the Downloadables tab
Develop a week of activities to improve the community's environment. Show the many ways public works departments contribute to your community's environmental health. Invite garden clubs, civic groups, historic preservation societies, schools and scouting councils to join you in an environmental project, or suggest a project of their own. Organize a tree-planting ceremony, recycling drive, public grounds clean-up or free, safe disposal of oversized items and household hazardous wastes. Launch a campaign to solicit organizations to adopt a highway or public park.
Public Works Exhibit
Create an exhibit to spotlight your organization's recent successes and emphasize how they benefit all citizens. Arrange to display your exhibit at libraries, community centers and shopping malls. You may be able to take advantage of a captive audience by exhibiting at a scheduled community event. Feature public works equipment, display photos of facilities and provide information on upcoming public works projects. Show a film or video of public works in action. When practical, have a department staff member at the exhibit to answer questions and provide information.
Display equipment your department uses in day-to-day operations. Give public works employees the opportunity to show the skill required to operate public works equipment. Select a location with high visibility such as a parking lot, city park, or public gathering place. Allow adequate time to research and reserve a location. Invite elected officials to participate in an activity during the event. Sponsor a regional contest and challenge other municipalities to a test of skills necessary to operate a backhoe, garbage pickup, forklift and lawn tractor. Emphasize safety; highlight the cost-effective measures and unique features of your equipment and vehicles. Have representatives from various departments show equipment and answer questions.
Open House or Tour
An open house or tour offers participants a new perspective on public works and gives professionals an opportunity to discuss the daily operation at their facility. It also is a good time to gather community members' opinions of public works projects and services. Plan the open house in conjunction with a dedication ceremony, an anniversary, or a celebration of a completed project. Select employees to serve as ambassadors or tour guides. Provide a forum for citizens to learn about various departments and their functions. Develop a survey to gather attendees' opinions about a public works project or service of importance to your organization.
Employee Appreciation Day
Acknowledge the many accomplishments public works employees contribute throughout the year with a special recognition event. Sponsor a banquet to recognize outstanding performance, special achievements, safety records and attendance. Include family members of honorees. Award honorees with a gift registration to a seminar, an engraved plaque, a special proclamation or a cash award. Invite elected officials. Hold your event in a public works facility. For example, host a barbecue in an equipment garage.
Promote healthful living by sponsoring a sporting event. Plan the route of a race to end at a facility or project you believe deserves attention. Sponsor a golf tournament and arrange for the proceeds to be dedicated to a public works project, such as the purchase of playground equipment in a community park. Sponsor a public works night at an organized or professional sporting event. Arrange for a message about public works to be announced during the game.
Outreach to Schools
A T-Shirt Design Contest
encourages students to be creative while they learn about public works. It's an excellent activity for elementary school age students. Design subjects include parks and recreation, recycling, road repair and street cleaning. Print the winning design on T-shirts and distribute T-shirts to students and members of the organization to wear during National Public Works Week.
Bringing an Equipment Show and Tell
to a middle school enables students to see firsthand the equipment you use in daily operations. Recycling vans, refuse trucks, pavement recyclers, road graders and lift trucks hold fascinating possibilities for students this age. This activity is ideal if you have limited resources. You could schedule an Equipment Show and Tell at a different school every day of National Public Works Week.
A Job Shadow Day
enables a high school student to experience a workday in the life of the public works professional who performs a job of interest to the student. In the process, students learn that public works services employ a variety of professionals, technicians and administrators who have been schooled and trained in a variety of fields.
The sooner you begin planning National Public Works Week events and activities, the more successful you will be. Using committees is a good way to divide up the work.
Suggested Committee Structure
Planning Committee: Oversees and manages all activities and events
Event Committees: One committee per event; organizes and completes all tasks associated with the event
Education Committee: Organizes all activities associated with the educational objectives of the celebration
Promotions Committee: Organizes all activities associated with the promotional objectives of the celebration
Sample Planning Calendar
- Schedule a kickoff meeting to organize your celebration. Invite individuals from all public works departments, the chamber of commerce, public affairs office, community schools, and area businesses (vendor-partners).
- Select a Planning Committee and chairperson.
- Discuss goals, set objectives, define target audiences.
- Determine the events and activities that will allow you to meet your objectives.
- Select an Education Committee, a Promotions Committee, and a committee for each event; select a chairperson for each committee; clarify and assign responsibilities.
- Discuss how to capture information during your events. This will provide content for you to share online and with stakeholders as well as enable you to evaluate your success.
- Determine an operating budget and share information with committees.
- Develop master calendar with milestones.
- Develop a schedule of meetings to review progress with committee chairpersons.
- Order your National Public Works Week posters.
- Committees meet to organize and plan.
- Committee chairpersons begin meeting with Planning Committee chairperson to report progress and obtain support.
- Celebrate National Public Works Week! Record the information necessary to evaluate your success.
- Celebrate your success with committee members.
- Send thank-you notes to supporters, committee members, corporate sponsors and volunteers.
- Collect information from each chairperson about the success of their activity or event