The PWLF program is designed to bestow the accumulated wisdom of experienced public works professionals upon those individuals who aspire to become leaders. The PWLF is a senior executive service designation that recognizes commitment to the public works profession.

Is PWLF for you?
  • If you are dedicated to serving the public interest and wish to “give back” to the profession
  • If you realize the importance of mentoring the next generation of public works leaders
  • If you would like to guide and influence the direction of public works for the future and expand the body of knowledge
  • If you are interested in receiving a designation that shows you have attained nationwide recognition for contributing to the public works profession as a senior executive.   
How will the PWLF program benefit you?
  • You will be nationally recognized upon completion of this program, developed specifically for public works senior executive professionals
  • You will work with others who are interested in becoming leaders in public works
  • You will develop strategies for coaching critical and systems thinking in others
  • You will develop an in-depth understanding of the latest leadership theory and its application to public works
  • You will develop a working knowledge of applied succession planning and how to use it to develop leadership within your organization
What does the PWLF program cover?
Leadership Fellows will have access to mentor training that will cover best practices in mentoring and executive coaching. Additionally, a process has been developed to help mentors track the mentee’s progress.

What is my time commitment?
PWLFs commit to working with a mentee for 40 hours a year or about 45 minutes a week.  The mentor and mentee will determine the schedule they will use for calls, e-mails, skype, facebook or a combination of these.

How will I maintain the PWLF designation when I am not in a mentor-mentee relationship?
  • Provide 40 hours of volunteer service to public works and record your hours in your Mentor's Journal on the DCS Center website
  • Abide by the ethical standards set by the American Public Works Association Board of Directors

What kinds of activities qualify for volunteer service hours?

  • Volunteering at a local APWA chapter
  • Attending events to recruit new members
  • Presenting at APWA events or other public works conferences
  • Lecturing at local schools and universities to expose students to careers in public works
  • Speaking to civic groups about public works issues in their community
  • Mentoring individuals who are working toward certification in various specialties
  • Serving on various APWA committees such as a Congress planning committee
  • Participating in national research studies related to public works
  • Acting as a presenter or moderator on Click, Listen, & Learn programs
  • Serving as a subject matter expert to develop curriculum for APWA programs
  • Working with APWA Technical Committees to develop the DCS Technical Career Paths
Who reviews my application?
All applications are reviewed by the DCS Center Program Council.  The DCS Program Council is a group of experienced public works professional selected by the Board of Directors because of their leadership and commitment to APWA.

What are the fees for participating in the PWLF program?
PWLF Fees APWA Member Price Non-Member Price
Application Fee $50.00 USD $50.00 USD
First Year Enrollment Fee $199.99 USD $299.99 USD*
Annual Fee (after first year) $50.00 USD $50.00 USD
* includes 1 year membership with the American Public Works Association (APWA)