As we approach the mid-point of the year, the chapter continues to have a positive impact on the public works community. Leadership training, continuing education, technical tours, and networking are available to members and non-members. These opportunities are times when professionals can come together, exchange ideas, and create relationships that would otherwise not be established. I encourage you to visit the chapter’s event and training web pages to learn more about what’s available. New events are often added so check back on a regular basis to stay up-to-date.
One notable event was the inaugural “central coast luncheon” which occurred in early May. Modeled after the successful luncheons that are regional staples in Portland and Eugene, this event saw a packed house at the Side Door Café learn about the Schooner Creek Bank Stabilization Project in Lincoln City. A special thank you goes out to Fred Wismer and Stephanie Reid for their successful collaboration to bring this event to fruition…even with the brief power outage we experienced. Stephanie has been working toward a central coast luncheon for quite some time and Fred’s experience with the Portland luncheon was just the spark that was needed to bring this to pass.
Speaking of successful events, the Spring Conference in Eugene was again wildly popular and it was evident with the number of delegates and exhibitors that we had for the week. Tony Roos developed a new feature called the “Exhibitor Spotlight” and it was well attended for each of the sessions. These “spotlights” allowed exhibitors to talk about their products, discuss industry trends, and interact with the delegates in a semi-formal classroom setting. Look for these spotlights at future conferences, as well.
Lastly, I want to thank all of the jurisdictions from across the state who took advantage (or will take advantage) of recognizing public works in their community as part of National Public Works Week. As public works professionals, we often shy away from the limelight, but it is important for our citizens to know what it takes to maintain roads, fix waterlines, tend to parks, and keep our infrastructure in good working order.
Todd Watkins, P.E.2015 Chapter President
Diversity Action Plan Garners National Award
The City of Eugene Public Works Diversity Committee has earned a national award for its equity and human rights action plan. The Diversity Exemplary Practices Award is presented annually by the APWA to recognize individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to diversity.
The 12-member Public Works Diversity Committee has integrated diversity and equity through a number of practical actions and activities:
Learning to Connect/Connecting to Learn workshops, which are designed to strengthen internal and external working relationships, encourage diversity discussions in the work place and provide new connections and ideas for problem-solving, team-building and communication.
An inclusive environment self-assessment of the Public Work Department, which led to work actions such as adding more visitor parking spots, making forms available in other languages, painting the main building, and adding an automatic opener button for the entrance door to improve accessibility at the Roosevelt Yard.
Publishing the Kaleidoscope newsletter (available online), which contains articles reflecting diversity in Public Works.
Encouraging employee growth through Seeds of Diversity, a monthly email series of diversity topics to promote discussions during crew, supervisor and manager meetings.
The award will be formally presented to the Public Works Diversity Committee at the APWA International Congress in Phoenix, Arizona in August. The committee’s 2015 award application is available online. For more information or to nominate your organization for next year’s diversity award, please contact any member of the APWA Oregon Chapter Leadership and Management Committee.
What a phenomenal beginning to the Oregon APWA 2015 educational program. The spring events had record or near record attendance. The Developing Leader class held in March at Mt. Bachelor Village in Bend bumped the usual limit of 40 with 41 attendees. Wearing the green on the green, Spring Conference kicked off in Eugene on St. Patrick’s Day with a whopping 150 delegates and 52 exhibiting companies. We rounded out the 2015 spring season at the Riverhouse in Bend for the Spring Short School, serving 234 students. The Spring Short School was dedicated to Dave White who had recently lost his 20+ year battle with cancer and served as a school committee member and Road Scholar teacher.
A strong program is scheduled in the fall as well, including classes in the Northwest Public Works Institute. If you haven’t begun your career in leadership and want to, there is no time like the present.
Here's the full listing of educational offerings this fall:
Street Maintenance & Collection Systems Fall School, Oct. 6-8, Seaside Civic & Convention Center (registration expected to open mid-summer)
Oregon Chapter Fall Conference, Oct. 19-22, Seven Feathers at Canyonville (registration expected to open early August)
Public Works Leadership, Oc. 27-30, Surfsand, Cannon Beach
Public Works Essentials, Dec. 8-11, Holiday Inn, Wilsonville
To register, go to the chapter's online training site. On the training page you will find the 2015 training and event schedule, along with scholarship and other information. Classes open for registration will be linked to online registration forms. If you are a current APWA member, you should receive an email notification as each of these classes open up for registration.
Participation in Oregon MATHCOUNTS grew again during 2015. There were 58 registered school teams made up of 452 students that entered competition. In addition, there were 36 club programs with a total of 750 students registered. A total of 1,202 middle-school students participated in MATHCOUNTS this year, up from about 1,122 last year.
During the month of February, regional competitions were held in the nine regions within the state. From the regional competition, 12 teams advanced to the state competition which was held at Oregon State University in March. A total of 66 students competed including the 12 school teams and 21 individuals. The top teams this year are:
Stoller Middle School of Beaverton coached by Manny Norse took the top team award
Meadow Park Middle School of Beaverton (second) coached by Mark McClure
Catlin Gable School of Portland (third) coached by Craig Daniels
Lake Oswego Middle School of Lake Oswego (fourth) coached by Kevin Thompson
Cheldelin Middle School of Corvallis (fifth)
The top 4 students at the state competition, who also formed the Oregon state team for the national competition, were:
Matt Leungpathomaram (first) of Caitlin-Gable School in Beaverton, coached by Craig Daniels
Rupert Li (second) Cedar Park Middle School of Portland, coached by Nick Hershman
Eric Tong (third) Meadow Park Middle School in Beaverton, coached by Mark McClure
Asohok Kaushik (fourth) Access Academy in Portland, coached by Amy Mackinnon
Manny Norse, a long-time MATHCOUNTS coach from Stoller Middle School was the team coach for the National Competition which was held May 8-9 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Oregon team finished 14th at the National Competition. Top individual finishers included Mathus Leungpathomaram in 22nd place and Rupert Li in 36th place.
The Oregon MATHCOUNTS program is organized and implemented by the Professional Engineers of Oregon. Major sponsors include the National MATHCOUNTS Foundation, Trust Management Services of Oregon, The Oregon Chapter of the American Public Works Association and the Intel Corporation.
Free Copies of 2008 Oregon Standard Specifications Manual Available
ODOT is doing some “spring cleaning” and needs to find homes for dozens of new, unused 2008 Oregon Standard Specifications manuals. Whether you would like one copy, a dozen copies, or even more, it doesn’t matter--they are free! Get them now.
Matt Rodrigues, principal engineer at the City of Eugene, has been invited to serve a two-year term on the national Center for Sustainability. The purpose of the Center for Sustainability is to serve as the center of expertise for the American Public Works Association (APWA) relating to sustainability within public works. “You have been selected for this leadership group appointment because of your recognized expertise in the subject matter areas assigned to the Center for Sustainability,” said Brian Usher, APWA President-Elect. At the City, Rodrigues is the Oregon APWA Chapter Sustainability Committee Chair, a member of the City’s Climate and Energy Task Team and has been involved in a number of sustainability projects and initiatives.
A tradition in Eugene since 1988, Public Works Day this year broke attendance records and raised the bar for interaction between the Public Works Department and the community.
A total of more than 2,500 people - including 2,000 children and 500 adults - packed the Public Works Yard on Thursday, May 21. Children got all sorts of hands-on lessons about public works services, and adults learned a few things, too. For example, many didn't know that in Eugene the Public Works Department operates the Eugene Airport and takes care of the city's parks.
A staff team worked for months to plan the event, and their forethought and careful logistical planning really paid off as fleets of school buses swept into the yard and discharged hordes of kids, each of whom got a free work-zone vest and other items to take home to remind them that "Community Begins Here" (this year's APWA National Public Works Week theme).