Colorado Public Works Journal, Spring 2019

Spring 2019 59 APWA INSIGHTS The Value of APWA Membership for Small Cities and Rural Communities APWA membership entities members to a wealth of information, opening doors to numerous resources, and provides opportunities in comradery, training, education, advocacy, and credentialing. These benefits of membership can be particularly advantageous to members from small cities and rural communities. The State of Colorado enjoys an abundance of riches, from the Mile High City to some of the most fertile farmlands to be found anywhere in the world, and on to the incomparable Rocky Mountains. While the state has numerous successful large communities, there are also many vibrant small cities and wonderful rural communities. Public Works staff from these smaller locales can see tremendous value from their membership in the American Public Works Association, which is the largest group of Public Works professionals in the nation. Straight from the APWA website, members can share com- mon goals, challenges, and solutions; they can participate in local chapter programs, meetings, and social activities; they can tap into the experience of other members; and they can find the best educational and training programs in all of public works. The value of membership also promotes individual and organizational excellence! Members may live in a small community and work for a modest size organization, but their APWA membership makes them a part of a larger team. In addition, members are entitled to free access to the Mem- bers Library; free registrations for live Click, Listen, and Learn programs; while providing access to books, videos, training materials, and recorded programs. The broad extent of the offerings allows members to access a plethora of information to assist with Public Works operations and management in small cities and rural communities. There is information avail- able on just about every single Public Works related topic. APWA committees and online discussion forums can be particularly informative on asset management, construction standards, and emergency response. The various topics also include fleet operations, organizational leadership, transporta- tion, and sustainability. It is possible for members to avail themselves of lessons learned by others, to ask questions of other members, and to participate in Chapter Events with like-minded folks. The American Public Works Association promotes organizational excellence and fosters individual growth. Mentorship of upcoming Public Works staff members is a vital and uplifting component of APWA membership. Public Works related education, both initial and recurring, is available to all members in multiple formats. The eLearning portal, the Emerging Leaders Academy, and the Public Works Institute are all invaluable tools for personal growth within the industry. The Colorado Chapter of APWA can be very proud of our history and our current activities, while also hosting an enviable list of conferences and events, including the annual National Snow Roadeo! Members can also benefit from APWA’s certification programs that can result in Professional Credentialing that demonstrate advanced knowledge in their field. Certifications available are Certified Public Fleet Professional, Certified Public Infrastruc- ture Inspector, Certified Stormwater Manager, Certified Public Works Professional – Supervision, and Certified Public Works Professional – Management. These certifications are tangible evidence of Public Works professionalism. Small town living can be incredibly rewarding, both individually and for the entire family, but Public Works professionals don’t have to face the challenges associated with the small city rural work environment alone – the APWA is here to lend a helping hand. Take advantage of what APWA offers to assist your community and to improve your personal knowledge. Your membership in APWA will lead to personal growth and professional accomplishment. Join today. Paul Ruud The author Paul Ruud is the Public Works Director for the City of Telluride and can be reached at.