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Young Professional's 2018 PWX Experience

September 7, 2018

Young Professional's 2018 PWX Experience
By Alex Miller, Graduate Engineer, WSB & Associates, Inc.
 
I want to extend my sincerest thank you to the 2018 Executive Board who made this stipend available to me. My experience in Kansas City at the 2018 Public Work Expo was entirely positive and refreshing. During my time, I was able to learn about how other areas of our country are affected by problems similar to ours, I was able to meet other young professional APWA members from around the country, and I was able to build upon and strengthen the relationships with Minnesota members of APWA.
 
One of the highlights I will take away from the educational sessions that I attended was the “Dare to Ask Session: Women and Men Working Together.” In this open forum session, I was both intrigued and frustrated to hear members from all areas of the country discuss gender issues that they experience or see in the public works field. This topic was inspirational to me in that we all need to be paying attention to equity and the lack of diversity of not only women but other minorities (i.e., racial, and background-related) in public works. As I listened to each individual story one thing became a common theme in my mind: we need to keep talking about it! Even though sessions and trainings may not solve everything, they at least bring the issues to the forefront and get people thinking and understanding that there are many points of view that should be represented and considered. I appreciated the fact that this was something I experienced at PWX.
 
I also was able to attend the young professionals networking event on Monday night. There, I met other young professionals who were working to increase young professional membership in their chapters. It was refreshing to meet others who were near my stage of their careers who were also passionate about and engaged with their career and the professional network surrounding it. I plan to stay connected to those folks throughout our careers and hopefully meet again at future events.
 
Upon networking with other APWA Minnesota chapter members both at PWX and at other events, I have decided to get more involved with the local chapter. I am pursuing a committee position and look forward to serving the chapter and further growing my relationships with my co-members. 

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