50th anniversary of National Public Works Week underway
This week, May 16-22, 2010, marks the 50th Anniversary of National Public Works Week (NPWW). The Kansas City, Mo.-based American Public Works Association (APWA) sponsors the week each year to recognize the contributions of public works professionals. NPWW also recognizes the key role that infrastructure and public works facilities and services play in maintaining the quality of life in the U.S. and Canada.
For 2010, a number of states, provinces and local communities have approved proclamations of support for NPWW. In addition, a U.S. Senate resolution (S. Res. 484) designated NPWW as a tribute to the efforts of public works professionals, including engineers and administrators, who design, build, operate and maintain the public works infrastructure in state and local governments.
“APWA applauds and thanks the cosponsors of the Senate resolution, Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer and Ranking Member James Inhofe, for recognizing the key role of public works professionals in our local communities,” APWA President Larry Koehle said.
To mark this year’s golden anniversary, cities, towns, counties, districts, and APWA chapters are holding public events and celebrations. Over the past five decades, National Public Works Week observances have included a variety of activities, from displays of public works equipment to high school essay contests, open houses, media events, and programs for civic organizations.
The first National Public Works Week was instituted in 1960 as a public education campaign under the Chairmanship of Rear Admiral Cushing, U.S.N. (Retired), who was then the President of the Los Angeles Board of Public Works.
At that time, the NPWW mission was to foster better understanding of the function and the importance of public works in modern community life.
Later, Federal recognition has included letters of acknowledgment from Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon B. Johnson and George W. Bush, and a Presidential Proclamation signed by John F. Kennedy in 1962.
Over the years, the US Senate and House of Representatives have passed resolutions recognizing the week and the people who serve public works. “Not unlike 50 years ago, our members throughout the U.S. and Canada will celebrate the key role public works professionals play in the sustainability of our communities,” said the APWA’s Koehle. “National Public Works Week is about honoring the men and women in public works who provide and maintain our transportation and water systems, utilities, emergency response operations, and other essential infrastructure every day of the week.”
In celebration of National Public Works Week, APWA urges individuals and organizations to join with representatives of federal, state, provincial and local governments in activities and ceremonies that pay tribute to public works professionals, and to recognize their contributions.
For more information about National Public Works Week, go to informational site:
The American Public Works Association (www.apwa.net) is a not-for-profit, international organization of 29,500 members involved in the field of public works. APWA serves its members by promoting professional excellence and public awareness through education, advocacy and the exchange of knowledge. APWA is headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., has an office in Washington and 64 chapters in North America.