Members are the key to our growth

Martin J. Manning, P.E.
APWA President

The big challenge facing APWA today is how it will “grow as an association.” APWA has worked to create and improve its capabilities to provide education, advocacy and tools to exchange information among its members, with impressive successes. The InfoNOW Communities, Click, Listen and Learn training tools, tracking for new infrastructure legislation and regulations affecting public works, and new initiatives to provide relevant advice to regulators and lawmakers on public works infrastructure and public works services are but a few of a longer list. These and other expanded services would be attractions for potential members to become active and involved members, if we could only make them aware. Awareness can only be achieved through the efforts of our members.

The APWA Reporter is a member publication and this brief column won’t go much further than to you, our members. But it is you, our members, who are the key to the growth of our association and the improvement of its programs. In the business of protecting and improving public works facilities and services, membership numbers count.

Today’s public works professionals must be prepared to enter into partnerships to sustain, renew, and upgrade public works infrastructure and to improve public works services. The successful delivery of these works and services relies upon the participation of public agencies and private entities working in partnership to create and protect a highly-valued quality of life for our citizens. Public agencies at all levels of government, public corporations, private sector businesses and public interest organizations are all players in this partnership. However, any of these entities that do not belong to APWA are not as well represented as they need to be.

In spite of the prospects of reduced budgets this year, public works agencies at all levels of government will spend billions of dollars on public works infrastructure and services. Many of our partners have a direct interest in the business generated by this activity. Many are interested in no more than effective coordination of their activities with public works agencies. Many would like to alter how we implement public works programs to satisfy broader community aspirations. Regardless of their varied purposes, all of our public works infrastructure and services partners are potential members of APWA.

As APWA members, it is our job to track these partners down and convince them that on the local, the state and the national level, the American Public Works Association provides the best access to public works agencies and their partners. APWA spans the breadth of public activity in public works infrastructure and services in the U.S. and Canada. Let’s enlist these partners as APWA members and make them “everyday heroes,” the protectors of our quality of life.