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National Public Works Week Celebrated Across North America

workforceAcross North America, more than 29,500 American Public Works Association (APWA) members and hundreds of municipalities across the U.S. and Canada will celebrate National Public Works Week (NPWW) during May 15-21, 2016, to honor public works professionals and educate the public on their important contributions to our daily lives, including the planning, design, building, maintaining and operating of infrastructure in our communities. Instituted as a public education campaign by the American Public Works Association (APWA) in 1960, NPWW calls attention to the importance of public works in community life.

2016 Theme: “Public Works… Always There”

The 2016 theme of National Public Works Week, “Public Works….Always There,” represents public works professionals who are always on the job as “Everyday Heroes” in their communities. “Public Works employees across North America dedicate themselves every day to providing services that enrich and protect their communities.  From before a person wakes up until after they go to bed, they are touched by public works every day in countless ways.  They may work through cold nights, hot days, blizzards, and floods, but I am proud to say they are there every day fulfilling their role in the community, “said APWA President Brian Usher, PWLF, Public Works Director in Largo, FL.

The occasion of National Public Works Week is marked each year with scores of resolutions and proclamations from mayors and governors and other organizations. A few special highlights of NPWW have included a United States Senate resolution affirming the first National Public Works Week in 1960, letters of acknowledgment from Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Lyndon Johnson, and a Presidential Proclamation signed by John F. Kennedy in 1962.

Recognizing Public Works Contributions

 “Every year, APWA’s National Public Works Week recognizes all of the tens of thousands of men and women public works professionals who are key to ensuring that infrastructure today is vital to a sustainable and vibrant tomorrow for our future generations,” said APWA’s Executive Director Scott Grayson. “Having been a city council member, I know the enormous contributions that these public works professionals make in serving our communities everyday by providing and maintaining our transportation, water systems, utilities, emergency response operations and other essential infrastructure and services,” Grayson said.

“In both the U.S. and Canada, the NPWW celebrations, events and activities are marked by resolutions and proclamations by governors, provincial premiers, mayors, and other city and county officials. These celebrations recognize and honor the public works professionals during this special week, and include well-deserved observances of many kinds, including parades, open houses, displays of public works equipment, programs for civic organizations and media events. I encourage public works agencies and professionals to take this special week as an opportunity to make their stories known in their communities,” Grayson said.

NPWW has been celebrated during the third week in May since 1960 to raise awareness of the vitally important contributions of public works professionals and the crucial role that infrastructure, facilities and services play in the quality of life in their communities. “NPWW was instituted as a public education campaign by APWA to call attention to public works and to seek to enhance the image of public works professionals, who are often unsung heroes of society, and who serve the public good everyday with dedication,” said Grayson.

The Top Ten Public Works Leaders list of exceptional public works professionals has also been a cornerstone of National Public Works Week since it began. The program has identified more than 560 men and women who reflect the highest standards of professional conduct for public works officials. These honorees have been recognized for discharging critical responsibilities in connection to the design, construction, maintenance and/or operation of major public works projects and activities in large and small municipalities throughout North America. “Their accomplishments are often particularly noteworthy in relation to the limited manpower and financial resources available,” Grayson added.

For more information about APWA’s National Public Works Week, visit the website at, or contact APWA Media Relations and Communications Manager, Laura Bynum, M.A. at 202.218.6736, or


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