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05/20/2024 “Public Works Week – May 19-25, 2024” By Kaylee McGrath

Opening Statement:

By its definition, public works are the state-funded physical and social infrastructure of a country. From the sanitation of our roads, to the dams and power grids, our community hospitals, subsidized healthcare clinics, parks, libraries, and much more, all public works are an indispensable part of any developed society. From May 15th to the 21st National Public Works Week is observed to recognize the importance of public works in an organized society. The week-long observation also sheds light on the brave and essential role that the public works employees play in our lives

History Of Public Works Week

·         A stable society and a functioning public works unit are Inter-reliant. Since the time of the Roman empire, governments have relied on establishing systems that serve society through welfare programs and essential services. These systems enable the citizens to perform business and conduct their personal lives in peace. Likewise, a healthy public works unit contributes to the elevation of the quality of life.

·         Public works in broad terms can be viewed as the recreational, aesthetical, and economic investments made to ease the lives of citizens in a republic. Public works also include the social safety net programs offered by the government to elevate low-income families out of poverty and detriment. From the head of the state to the governor, all the way to the local county officials and municipal board, the entire body of government is engaged in public works through a tier system.

·         Soon after the crash of the 1930s, President Franklin D. Roosevelt ushered in a new wave of expanded government services and utility investments that changed the course of public works in the U.S. The F.D.R. administration also modified the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works and renamed it Public Works Administration in 1935. The deployment of a robust economic package that employed the public and strengthened private businesses helped the U.S. make its way out of the Great Depression. Subsequently, a cohort of public works leaders formed the American Public Works Association (A.P.W.A.) in 1937.

·         In 1960, the A.P.W.A. received an official endorsement from the United States Senate and organized the first Public Works Week. Six decades after its establishment, the A.P.W.A. continues to be the biggest voice for public works employees. Every year, a theme is allotted for National Public Works Week, the most recent being ‘Stronger Together’ and ‘The Rhythm of Public Works.’

About Public Works

·         What Constitutes Public Work?

Public works is the state-funded social and physical infrastructure instituted by the government. It includes law and order, energy, recreation, and economy. It is a broad term that includes the sanitation facilities to the dams and roads of a country.

·         Who Funds the Public Works?

Public work is run through taxation money. There are different tiers of public work, from municipal services to the federal government, and all are funded separately.

·         When Was the American Public Works Association Established?

The A.P.W.A. was established in 1937 to promote professional awareness about public works. It’s based in Missouri, United States. The organization has 30,000 active members spread throughout Canada and the U.S.

How To Observe Public Works Week

·         Thank Our First Responders

The first responders of our community deserve all the appreciation in the world. As we recover from a devastating COVID-19 pandemic, let’s express our gratitude to those who stood on the frontlines throughout these uncertain times.

·         Send Love to Your Local A.P.W.A. Members

The American Public Works Association has 55 chapters in all major cities of the U.S. and Canada and has over 30,000 members. If one of these chapters is within your reach, show your appreciation with a batch of fresh cookies and a heart full of gratitude.

·         Give A Social Media Shoutout

We often take the public works that surround us for granted. During National Public Works Week, you can post a photo each day, appreciating the essential services and infrastructure such as parks, the post office, public playgrounds, etc., with the hashtag #NPWW.


Important Facts About Public Works Facilities

1.       Our Courthouses and Our Prison Systems

The entire law and order of a city is a public works investment run under the view of state and federal governments.

2.       Community Hospitals and Subsidized Healthcare Clinics

The subsidized health care clinics of your neighborhood are owned and operated by the municipal administrators; therefore, they are public works.

3.       Public Schools and Community Colleges

Public works include access to public schools and state-funded colleges for students of any income group.

4.       Parks And Libraries

Parks and Libraries also fall under the management of public works.

5.       Electricity And Power Grids

Our power grid infrastructure is public works and is budgeted, regulated, and monitored by the various state governments.

Why Public Works Week Is Important

·         It Honors Our Unsung Heroes

Public works employees keep the water running in our homes. They often work through long stretches of shifts and are always on call for emergencies. The objective of National Public Works Week is to honor the services of the heroes who live among us.

·         It Runs the Economy

Public works empower the citizens of a nation with stability and security, making it possible to become contributing members of society. It also provides direct employment to thousands of workers, all the while adding to the public infrastructure and services of the country.

·         It Raises Concerns

The American Public Works Association voices the concerns of local, state, and federal public works professionals throughout North America. Through the collective support of 30,000 members, the association utilizes the week-long observation to fight for fair wages, better working hours, and hazard pay.


Closing Statement and Recap:

In 1933, The New Deal that was established by President Roosevelt introduced a series of social security programs and started the core of the public works system as we know it now in the United States. By 1935, The F.D.R. administration invested $6 billion in infrastructure projects through the Public Works Administration. Our public works system is strong, growing, and our hard-working public work employees are very often overlooked given the important role they play to make our lives better.


Source of Information: Various Google Searches


Until Next Week, Stay Safe and Well!

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