National Public Works Weeks (NPWW) is a time to celebrate the tens of thousands of men and women in North America who provide and maintain the infrastructure and services collectively known as public works. This was originally 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. The Week seeks to enhance the prestige of the often-unsung heroes of our society – the professionals who serve the public good every day with quiet dedication.
National Public Works Week is observed each year during the third full week of May. Through NPWW and other efforts, APWA seeks to raise the public’s awareness of public works issues and to increase confidence in public works employees who are dedicated to improving the quality of life for present and future generations.
How to Participate
APWA encourages public works agencies and professionals to take the opportunity to make their stories known in their communities. Over the years the observances have taken many forms, including parades, displays of public works equipment, high school essay contests, open houses, programs for civic organizations and media events. The occasion is also marked the 3rd week of May each year and is accompanied with resolutions and proclamations from mayors and governors.
Some special highlights of NPWW include 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. APWA-NC submits a request for proclamation to the Governor each year and we encourage you will do the same within your own municipalities.
APWA-NC compiles information about what other municipalities in North Carolina do to celebrate National Public Works Week. Please forward information of what you have done in the past to celebrate NPWW to our National Public Works Week Chair. Please read about ideas and examples here (in a Google document). Any information you provide is greatly appreciated. We hope this information can be helpful in planning your National Public Works Week.
Looking for more information? Take a look at this template for municipalities to develop Proclamations.
The National Public Works Week How-To Guide is one of several resources the Association makes available to agencies to assist them in the development and implementation of their own individual celebrations. With this tool, an agency will learn how to create proclamations and solicit endorsements from government officials, develop media and press releases, write editorials and articles, and generate material for speeches. There are also several suggestions for celebratory activities to be implemented at the local level.
However you choose to celebrate NPWW this year, APWA is proud to be a resource for you. You deserve the recognition.
Share your celebration of your Public Works Staff with us! Send photos and activities for your Public Works Staff Appreciation!
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