Public Works Certificate Program

Public Works Certificate Program

Registration for 2024-2025 Public Works Certificate Program courses will open in May 2024.
To be notified when registration opens
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The Public Works Certificate Program prepares frontline employees for leadership positions in the public works field. With a focus on the management of local organizations and  operations, this program is ideal for new supervisors, managers, and public works employees preparing for advancement. Those who finish all five courses will be awarded a certificate of completion from the APWA Minnesota Chapter.

The Public Works Certificate Program will focus on the management of local public works organizations and operations. Course material will be delivered by public works professionals. This program is designed to further your understanding of:

  1. Organization and functions of public works and public works professionals.
  2. Technical functions undertaken by public works professionals, with emphasis on roadway design, construction, and maintenance.
  3. Advanced concepts in public works operations and maintenance.
  4. Effective creation and delivery of workplace and technical documents.

Download our Frequently Asked Questions about the Public Works Certificate Program.

MSSA Scholarships Available to APWA-MN Members

The Minnesota Street Superintendents Association (MSSA) offers scholarships for the APWA-MN Public Works Certificate Program or the Leadership Academy. Learn more.

2023-2024 Program Details

Register Here

Download the 2023-2024 Public Works Certificate Program Brochure

  • LOCATION: All classes will be held at the Plymouth Community Center, 14800 34th Avenue N., Plymouth, MN 55447.
  • COST: $700/course.
  • SCHEDULE: Each course consists of 10 classes scheduled once per week for 10 weeks from 2:00 - 5:00 pm. The spring 2024 001 course will meet from 3:00 - 6:00 pm.
  • COURSE SIZE: Each course is limited to 25 participants.
  • REGISTRATION LIMIT: An individual may enroll in a maximum of two concurrent courses.
  • CREDIT: The Public Works Certificate Program consists of five non-credit courses listed below.

2023-2024 Courses 

Office and Professional Skills for Public Works (COURSE 001)

  • Fall 2023 Course Dates: Mondays Sept. 7 - Nov. 13, 2023 (first class Thurs. Sept. 7) from 2:00 - 5:00 pm
  • NEW Spring 2024 Course Dates and Time: Mondays Jan. 29 - April 1 from 3:00 - 6:00 pm. No class Mon. Feb. 12 (President's Day) with class that week moved to Wed. Feb. 14. Monday, April 8 is a makeup day in case of inclement weather. 
  • Instructor: Chad Millner, PE, Director of Engineering/City Engineer, City of Edina
  • Description: This course will introduce the administrative skills frequently used by public works professionals, such as basic writing principles, planning, organizing, and preparing and delivering effective technical communication within and outside the organization. Specific examples of communication tools include field  construction reports, interoffice memorandums, document summaries, and verbal presentations. We’ll also introduce students to basic office applications that will be used in the preparation of documents used by public works professionals. Students taking this course are required to have a personal laptop computer and bring it to class each day. 

Public Works Management and Communication (COURSE 002)

  • Dates: Tuesdays Sept. 5 - Nov. 14, 2023 from 2:00 - 5:00 pm
  • Instructor: Dave Hutton, Sr., PE, Project Manager, SEH
  • Description: This course focuses on the management and communication expected of a public works professionals in a leadership position, as well as the skills needed to manage internal relationships within governmental agencies. Topics in the course include, public relations, including how to conduct a public meeting to get citizen buy-in; handling complaints; written communication; interacting with media professionals; techniques for screening, interviewing, and hiring new employees; and leveraging social media. 

Public Works Operations and Maintenance (COURSE 003)

  • Dates: Wednesdays Sept. 6 - Nov. 15, 2023 from 2:00 - 5:00 pm
  • Instructor: Beverly Farraher, PE, Public Works Operations Manager, City of St. Paul
  • Description: This course focuses on the delivery of public works services within the community. Public Works operations are a critical provider of the public services that affect the health, safety, enjoyment, and prosperity of our residents. We generally do this by providing services relating to water, storm and sanitary sewers, streets, parks, facilities, bridges/structures, and traffic management devices, as well as protecting the environment. This course reviews the systems, equipment management, and personnel resources needed to deliver these services in an effective and efficient way. Discussions will include considerations when making choices relating to: preventive maintenance vs. reconstruction of infrastructure, rent vs. purchasing of equipment, and contracting vs. inhouse use of personnel to provide services. 

​Public Works Organization and Administration (COURSE 004)

  • Dates: Tuesdays Feb. 13 - April 23, 2024 from 2:00 - 5:00 pm
  • Instructor: Will Manchester, PE, Director of Public Works, City of Minnetonka
  • Description: This course will familiarize you with the administration and operation of a public works department. It provides insight into the organizational structure, planning, financing, purchasing, budgeting, and management of public works organizations, as well as individual job responsibilities and internal relationships within governmental systems. 

Technical Aspects of Public Works (COURSE 005)

  • Dates: Thursdays Feb. 15 - April 25, 2024 from 2:00 - 5:00 pm
  • Instructor: Jon Watson, PE, Utility Operator, City of Brooklyn Park (retired)
  • Description: In this course we’ll review the basic principles of public works engineering functions and examine the materials and methods used in public works projects. Topics include soils, aggregates, bitumen, concrete, utilities, plan review, traffic counts, flexible pavement design, erosion control, surveying, public land survey, construction methods, basic project management, contracts, bidding, and records. 

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