Greetings Oregon Chapter of APWA. The end of summer was highlighted for me with a trip to PWX in Kansas City as a representative of the chapter. When we arrived in Kansas City, the weather was the hot and humid Midwest August weather, but by Tuesday night we had one of those typical Midwest thunder and lightning storms that brought cooler temperatures. There were thousands of people in attendance from around the country and the world. The exhibition floor is amazing with the number exhibitors and the amount of equipment on hand. Russ Thomas from Newberg told me one day he saved his agency thousands of dollars on a planned equipment purchase by being able to talk directly to the manufacturer and order the right equipment for his agency’s work.
Also at PWX, the Oregon Chapter received the Presidential Award for Chapter Excellence for the 18th year! Many thanks to Russ Thomas for preparing the application. Lance Calvert from the City of West Linn accepted the recognition for his city's public works accreditation. I was also able to watch the Equipment Roadeo. While Gordon Chandler and Steven Graves, Jr. didn’t qualify for overall prizes at PWX, they had respectable performances in the excavator, mini-backhoe and skid steer exercises, and it was a delight to watch them represent the chapter. I was also able to get ideas for a future fleet technician competition for the chapter. If you are interested in helping the chapter develop a fleet technician skills competition, contact me and I will connect you with other interested folks.
In fall news, September is National Preparedness Month. I invite everyone to check out www.ready.gov. Look for a theme for each week of the month to help you prepare, as well as lots of useful tips and lists. If you know me you know I love my lists!
Kirk Holmes from the Washington Chapter Emergency Management Committee sent out a link to a recent Ted Talk in Portland on the common sense gap in preparing for earthquakes (see article in this issue of the newsletter). You may have met Kirk at our fall conference last year. As part of our exchange program with the Washington Chapter, Peter DeBoldt will be attending our fall conference next month. Peter is the co-chair for the PWX-2019 Management Committee, so stay tuned for news about 2019 PWX in Seattle.
The Oregon Chapter's fall conference in Canyonville (October 15-18) is just around the corner and will be another great learning and connecting opportunity. The conference theme is “Keep Calm and Public Works On,” a play on the British World War II slogan to motivate and strengthen the morale of the people. Look for a full line-up of technical sessions, a Wildlife Safari tour, a workshop on writing and responding better to RFPs, informal learning from each other and general fun. Dan Hartman from the City of Boulder, Colorado and the Region IX Director will be with us.
My leadership topic this quarter is a book I am reading, “Go With It – Embrace the Unexpected to Drive Change” by Karen Hough. Karen’s premise is that innovation is a learned skill. She brings her background in improvisation to learn to be better collaborators and foster innovation. It is a short read and every time I pick it up, I start thinking of techniques I can use with my own team.
As always, please feel free to contact me or any chapter board member if you have any questions or comments about chapter activities.
Jenifer Willer, 2018 Chapter President
2018-2019 Scholarship Recipients Selected
The Oregon APWA Scholastic Foundation has announced the 2018-2019 recipients for 17 scholarships totaling $30,000:
$750 scholarship at Clackamas Community College awarded to Matthew Westergaard, whose focus is in the water and environmental technology field. Matthew is a contingent employee with Jacobs at the WWTP in Wilsonville and has also accepted a paid internship with McMinnville Water and Light at their water treatment plant.
$3,000 civil engineering scholarship at George Fox University awarded to Jacob Bibb, whose concentration is in civil/structural engineering. Jacob is involved in an internship with the City of Newberg Public Works Engineering Division.
$2,500 APAO/APWA civil engineering scholarship at George Fox University awarded to Jonathan Wilson, whose concentration is in civil/structural engineering. This summer Jonathan is working with Northwest Surveying, which he feel will help him understand the initial steps in the design process. This scholarship is funded jointly by AWPA and the Asphalt Paving Association of Oregon, with APWA contributing half ($1,250) and APOA the other half.
$3,000 civil engineering scholarship at Oregon Institute of Technology awarded to Gregory Collins, whose concentration is in civil/structural engineering with an emphasis on bridge design. Gregory is currently enrolled in a concurrent bachelor’s and master’s program at Oregon Tech.
$1,000 Kurt Corey tribute scholarship at Oregon State University awarded to Steven Kontra, whose concentration is in civil engineering in the public sector.
$2,500 APAO/APWA civil engineering scholarship at Oregon State University awarded to Nicholas Hossley, whose concentration is in civil engineering. Nicholas has served an internship with the Federal Highway Administration in Vancouver and last summer returned as a quality control inspector for a bridge project on behalf of the FHA. His long-term aspiration is to open his own engineering firm with his siblings. This scholarship is funded jointly by AWPA and the Asphalt Paving Association of Oregon, with APWA contributing half ($1250) and APOA the other half.
$500 Don and Cathy Schut environmental engineering scholarship at Oregon State University awarded to Elizabeth Hamilton, whose concentration is in civil engineering with a minor in environmental engineering and French. Last summer she worked at the Benton County Public Works Department as a summer stormwater intern.
$1,000 Ron Polvi civil engineering sustainability scholarship at Oregon State University awarded to Jesus Magdaleno, whose emphasis is in structural engineering. His immediate goal upon graduation is to secure employment as a civil or structural engineering within public works to get some engineering experience. He would eventually like to complete a master’s degree in structural engineering. Jesus received an Oregon APWA past presidents scholarship in 2016-2017.
$1,500 Allen A. Alsing civil engineering scholarship at Oregon State University awarded to Kelsey Stewart, whose emphasis and passion is in civil engineering. She intends to pursue a career in the public sector, where she hopes to utilize her interest in geotechnical engineering and transportation to help improve the safety of Oregon’s citizens.
$3,000 civil engineering/geomatics scholarship at Oregon State University awarded to Allyson Lowe, whose emphasis is in civil engineering.
$750 civil engineering scholarship at Portland Community College awarded to Dan Neidecker, whose concentration is in civil engineering. Dan aspires to become a civil engineer and work with a city or county on infrastructure or green energy/efficiency.
$3,000 civil engineering scholarship at Portland State University awarded to Sarah Crisp, whose focus is on civil engineering. Sarah hopes to get into a career with the government or a nonprofit organization focusing on sustainability through urban planning or engineering.
$2,000 Michael Lindberg scholarship at Portland State University awarded to Jaime Reed. who has applied to the College of Urban & Public Affairs for a master’s in public administration. She serves as the municipal clerk on behalf of the City of Oregon City and has been involved with public works and planning providing assistance with permitting, right-of-way management, contract management, and support at municipal public meetings.
$750 forestry/natural resources scholarship at Southwestern Oregon Community College award to Cole Smith, whose area of concentration is in forest management. Cole will be transferring to Oregon State University to complete his degree.
$3,000 civil engineering scholarship at University of Portland awarded to Emily Diaz-Gunning, whose focus is in civil engineering. Emily wants to become an engineer to help better the environment and improve living conditions around the world.
$750 Les Lyle memorial scholarship and $1,000 Past Presidents Scholarship at Walla Walla Community College awarded to William Thomas, who is majoring in energy systems technology with a concentration in plant operations. William is also an Iraqi war veteran and father of five. His long-term professional goal is to become an engineer in multiple disciplines, the first being electrical.
Scholarships are funded primarily from donations and contributions made by Oregon APWA Chapter members. Additional recipients may be announced as the school year progresses. If you'd like more information about the chapter's scholarship program or this year's scholarship recipients, visit the scholastic foundation web site or contact Scholastic Foundation President Terry Song.
Spotlight on Scholars
Portland Community College Civil Engineering Scholarship
Dan is a current student in the Civil Engineering Technician program at Portland Community College. He has always had an interest in the built world and has been a tinkerer for many years, but only recently decided to return to school to study engineering and make his passion a career. He hopes to obtain his degree and find a career as an engineering tech supporting public works projects in the Portland area.
Dan says he is delighted to be a recipient of the APWA Scholarship, which allows him greater freedom to focus on his studies while in school than would otherwise be possible.
The spring of 2018 was a busy one for APWA education, and central Oregon was the place to be for much of it. The first week of March we gathered at Riverhouse on the Deschutes for the Street Maintenance and Collection Systems Spring School. The busiest month was April. We started the month in Eugene at the Hilton with the spring chapter conference, followed by the Developing Leader class at Mt. Bachelor Village and Preventive Maintenance for Roadway Surfaces at Eagle Crest, both central Oregon locations. All in all a huge success, and many kudos to the Chapter board, conference chairs, and SMCS committee members!
Fall is gearing up to be just as busy, as APWA travels to southern Oregon for two weeks of fun, camaraderie, and education. October 15-18, the Oregon Chapter conference, hosted by City of Roseburg, will convene at the Seven Feathers Casino and Resort.
After a busy week, Oregon APWA travels just north of California to offer Street Maintenance and Collection Systems education in Ashland October 23-25. Be sure to send your employees to this one-of-a-kind school, offering two collection systems tracks and two street maintenance tracks, one of which is dedicated to the Oregon T2 Road Scholars program. Do you know someone that needs flagger certification? Sign them up for the school and for this all-day training, being taught by Oregon T2 trainer Tony Jobanek.
Teaser: Those who attend the fall short school will be pleasantly surprised to be the first to hear the announcement for Spring 2019 Extended School and will have the opportunity to register before everyone else. They will leave fall school full of enthusiasm for what the revamped spring school has to offer. Don’t miss out … register today for the fall short school and be the first to know.
If you want to move into or continue your career with leadership growth, the Northwest Public Works Institute classes are a must take. Registration for Public Works Leadership has been sold out for several months and already has a hefty waitlist. If you miss out this year, registration for 2019 is projected to open in December. Registration for the Public Works Essentials is nearly full, so don’t hesitate if you want to take this class.
For more information on fall education, click these links:
By Les Miller, Oregon APWA Emergency Management Committee
Comforting words during or following any emergency. These words are often the outcome of a robust preparedness culture. Have you had a chance to share unique actions you do to prepare for severe winter weather, flooding or earthquakes/tsunamis?
September is National Preparedness Month! So let’s take advantage of this opportunity to share what works for you or your organization to prepare you, your loved ones, employer and community. Sharing this could really help someone prevent/reduce damage/loss this winter and beyond. Please send me, Les Miller, your preparedness gems and I’ll share them at our fall conference.
Also, please share which agencies' (Red Cross, FEMA, National Weather Service, etc.) website/information you find most useful in your preparations. As you think about what you want to share, please enjoy the following link with family, friends and colleagues. It is called: Why we do not prepare for earthquakes.