Each year across North America, National Public Works Week (NPWW) is celebrated by the American Public Works Association’s (APWA) 30,000 members in hundreds of towns and cities throughout the U.S. and Canada. This year the NPWW celebration will be held the week of May 15-21, 2022, to honor the public works professionals who plan, design, build, manage and operate the infrastructure that ensures a higher quality of life for our communities. Celebrated each year in the third week of May, NPWW was instituted as a public education campaign by APWA in 1960 to call attention to the importance of public works in community life.
2022 Theme: “Ready & Resilient”
The 2022 theme of National Public Works Week, “Ready & Resilient,” is illustrated on this year’s NPWW poster. Within every public works professional lies a superhero who is always READY to serve their communities and RESILIENT as ever in their abilities to pick themselves up off the ground after encountering challenges. These public works superheroes help keep communities strong by providing services in transportation, water, wastewater and stormwater treatment, public buildings and spaces, parks and grounds, emergency management and first response, solid waste, and right-of-way management.
The poster artist is Kenny Kiernan who has illustrated for many top brands. He specializes in bold, dynamic, high-energy cartoon characters and illustrations. “The 2022 NPWW poster highlights the ability of public works professionals to be ready at a moment’s notice and react as first responders during natural disasters,” said APWA President Stan Brown, PE, PWLF. “They really are our communities’ real-life superheroes.”
APWA encourages municipalities with public works agencies and professionals to take the opportunity to make their stories known in their municipalities during the week. The National Public Works Week website features virtual, in-person, and social media how-to guides to help agencies develop and implement their own celebrations.
Recognizing Public Works Contributions
APWA CEO Scott Grayson knows first-hand the value of public works to communities. “I know our public works professionals are dedicated to improving the quality of life for their communities. They are the ones making sure we have clean water to drink, plowed streets to travel, and maintaining functioning public sewers. They continue to create a sense of normalcy throughout the pandemic, social unrest and any challenge thrown at them.”
NPWW celebrations, events, and activities are marked by resolutions and proclamations by governors, provincial premiers, mayors, and other city and county officials in both the U.S. and Canada. These celebrations recognize and honor public works professionals during this special week, and include parades, open houses, displays of public works equipment, programs for civic organizations, and media events.
In addition, the Top Ten Public Works Leaders of the Year award, which recognizes exceptional public works professionals each year, has been a cornerstone of National Public Works Week since its beginning. The Top Ten Public Works Leaders award focuses on outstanding career service achievements of individual public works professionals and officials from both the public and private sectors in North America. Each of the Top Ten Leaders is recognized for their accomplishments in federal, state, provincial, county, or municipal engineering or administration, including career advancement, contribution to technology or job knowledge, and commitment to the profession as evidenced by education, training, certification or registration, and continuing education, as well as professional excellence and service to the community in large and small municipalities. The program has identified more than 620 men and women who reflect the highest standards of professional conduct for public works officials.