New ideas to STRETCH your training budget!

Susan M. Hann, P.E., AICP
Deputy City Manager
City of Palm Bay, Florida
Member, APWA Leadership and Management Committee

Wouldn't it be great if we all had the budget to send our staff to the APWA Congress every year? Congress is an incredible experience that offers so many opportunities for learning and networking. But maybe it just isn't realistic for you to send your public works team across the country every year. So, how do you get the benefit of listening to highly regarded speakers and connecting with other public works professionals around the country without ever leaving your office? Can it be done?

Of course it can, we're public works professionals, we can do anything!!

So, in order to expand our cost-effective learning and networking opportunities to our membership and their agencies, APWA is launching a new program that allows you to tune in to high-quality speakers for just the time it takes to dial a toll-free phone number. The new program is just the beginning of APWA's initiatives to provide mentoring opportunities to the public works community.

The newest program will offer quarterly phone panel conversations about a variety of contemporary issues—including such hot topics as:

  • Dealing with Politics in the Workplace
  • Humble Beginnings - Unlimited Potential
  • Leadership and Management - Core Competencies
  • When is it Time to Move on?
  • Women in Public Works
  • Ethical Issues in Public Works

Participating is easy—just call the number and tune in. You'll also be able to e-mail questions to panelists and hear questions from other listeners from around the country. Even if you can't tune in to the live conference, APWA will record the session and make it available on the APWA website as a downloadable podcast. This is a great opportunity to gather a group around the speakerphone and learn from the leaders in our profession. Bring in the veterans and the newcomers; invite neighboring jurisdictions and use these phone panel discussions as a launching point for further discussion and interaction among the public works professionals in your area.

The sessions are planned for the fourth Thursday in October, January, April and June at noon Eastern Daylight Time. Watch the APWA website for details on the inaugural session and the schedule for upcoming events!

APWA is also launching a new Emerging Leaders Academy for 2008. This program will offer more intensive training for those who want to learn more about the leadership and management of the public works profession. If you want to be a part of the first class to achieve the honor of graduating from the APWA Emerging Leaders Academy, watch the APWA website and the Reporter for upcoming details.

If this has inspired you to want to learn more about these programs, contact Ann Daniels at or (816) 595-5223. We want you to be a part of growing the public works community—learn from the best to be the best in your hometown!

Sue Hann will present "Is Performance Measurement Stifling Your Performance" (Sept. 10 at 2:00 p.m.) and "Progressive Women in Public Works" (Sept. 11 at 3:45 p.m.) at the APWA Congress in San Antonio. She can be reached at (321) 952-3411 or