The American Public Works Association (APWA) serves professionals in all aspects of public works—a fact that sets it apart from other organizations and makes it an effective voice of public works throughout North America. With a worldwide membership over 28,500 strong, APWA includes not only personnel from local, county, state/province, and federal agencies, but also private sector personnel who supply products and services to those professionals.ro

Membership in APWA is open to any individual, agency, or corporation with an interest in public works and infrastructure issues. Titles common to the membership include public works directors; city engineers; city managers; fleet managers; property and equipment superintendents; utilities managers; community development directors; transportation managers; park directors; county officials; and representatives from engineering and other consulting firms, manufacturers, construction companies, and a multitude of other service providers.

Although originally chartered in the United States in 1937, APWA has roots in two predecessor groups that reach back to 1894, and has 63 chapters in North America, which includes eight chapters in Canada. The Canadian Public Works Association (CPWA) or Association Canadienne des Travaux Publics, was founded in 1986, and is governed by an 8-member Board of Directors (one representative from each chapter in Canada). Members of CPWA are automatically members of APWA. A 17-member Board of Directors, all of whom are elected by Association members, governs APWA as a whole.

As a comprehensive public works resource, APWA continues in its rich tradition of making a difference both on an individual and professional level. APWA is a not-for-profit, 501 (c) (3) organization that prides itself on its ability to provide varied educational and networking opportunities that help public works personnel to grow in their professionalism and directly impact the quality of life in all the communities they serve.