Sunday, May 20th, 2018 commenced another weeklong celebration of public works services. National Public Works Week, sponsored for over 50 years by the American Public Works Association, strives to educate the country on the significance of public works in our everyday lives.
This year’s theme, “The Power of Public Works,” highlights the valuable efforts of public works professionals across the country. Sometimes their efforts are clear, like providing snow removal services in the winter; other times, people might not know who fills those potholes in the road or disposes of solid waste.
The American Public Works Association (APWA), originally founded in 1937, has celebrated several decades of success in public works operations. They define the Department of Public Works as a government entity “essential to the welfare and acceptable quality of life for its citizens.” Very true, especially when we factor in the amount of services they provide us with: clean water, response to natural disasters, and something as menial yet essential as trash collection.
While overlooked daily by the communities they serve, public works professionals garner nationwide recognition during this week. The same people who dispose of our trash and plow our roads have also organized cleanup throughout Texas following Hurricane Harvey in September 2017 and even sprang into action after the September 11th attacks in 2001 left New York City with mountains of rubble.
None of this, not even the seemingly most basic tasks, would be possible without them.