APWA’s K-12 educational initiative supports two of APWA’s key strategic initiatives: “to create a series of awareness programs in various specific areas – promote outreach and public awareness to build identity, public awareness/support, broaden global perspective, and attract new members and affiliates. Explore a broader awareness and branding campaign for the APWA and for public works.”

Making our workforce the most competitive will be the key to ensuring the vitality of the public works industry for the future. This can only be done by preparing our young people for success in this industry from the onset of formal education. The K-12 APWA educational initiative supports the work to advance and promote outreach and public awareness of public works for school aged children in communities in North America. 

To date, APWA has developed the following outreach programs and materials: 

Discovering the World of Public Works – K-5th grade curriculum   
In 2005, APWA unveiled its K-5 public works curriculum, Discovering the World of Public Works. This educational outreach program introduces children (K-5) to the multifaceted and exciting world of public works. Since its release, more than 33,000 copies of the workbook have been sold to date. 

This program:  

  • Introduces children to four key areas of public works: construction, traffic and transportation, solid waste, and water and wastewater  
  • Informs children about basic public safety concepts  
  • Stimulates children's interest in public works as a career choice.  
  • Increases society's awareness of what public works employees do for our community 

Exploring the World of Public Works – 6th – 8th grade curriculum  
Released in August 2008, Exploring the World of Public Works is an innovative and comprehensive curriculum designed for students in 6th to 8th grade—an age at which many young people begin considering career paths.

The program has four key goals: 

  • educate students about the role of public works in their everyday lives,
  • show how public works improves every community’s quality of life,    
  • pique interest in public works as a potential career, and 
  • provide teachers and public works professionals with well-developed lesson plans.

The straightforward, contemporary curriculum integrates school subjects like social studies, language arts, science, math, and art into the study of important public works topics—construction, parks and recreation, traffic and transportation, water and wastewater, solid waste, and careers in public works.

Shaping the World of Public Works - 9 – 12 outreach program
Seeks to educate high school students about public works functions and careers. These materials build on the foundation established by APWA with its elementary and middle school educational programs by offering resources for helping high school students understand the scope of public works in their communities and the opportunities they have to be part of this vital workforce.  

Careers in Public Works (publication)   
There are more jobs in public works than most people realize. Using sample classified ads and interviews with real public works professionals, this book provides an overview of the world of public works for students and job seekers. From civil engineers to fleet mechanics, you can learn what you need to secure a job in public works.

Order this publication through the APWA Bookstore. 

P.W. Paws Outreach Items
P.W. Paws is APWA’s official mascot and we have designed and developed a variety of give-a-way items – pencils, balloons, stickers, coloring and comic books to name a few. These items can be purchased through the APWA Bookstore. Here is the link to Community Outreach section of the bookstore.  

Order this publication through the APWA Bookstore

So, as you can see, APWA truly embraces and recognizes the need of educating our young people. If you have any further questions, would like additional information, or would like to speak, please contact Lillie Plowman at 1-800-848-2792, ext. 5253.