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Outgoing APWA-MN President's Message

December 15, 2023

Outgoing APWA-MN President's Message

By Monica Heil, 2023 APWA-MN President

As 2023 comes to a close, I’ve been reflecting on all we have accomplished together as a Chapter over the last 12 months, and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to work with so many talented and committed Chapter members dedicated to the mission of APWA.

The Minnesota Infrastructure Alliance (MnIA for short, and formerly MN2050), established in 2022, really took shape in 2023.  MnIA is a coalition of professional organizations striving to provide and maintain safe and sustainable infrastructure across Minnesota.  MnIA now has 18 organizational partners working to increase public awareness, enhance professional collaboration and educate and engage policy makers on all matters infrastructure.  

In 2023, APWA-MN was provided a seat on Minnesota’s Infrastructure Resilience Advisory Task Force, established by the State Legislature to evaluate issues related to coordination, sustainability, resiliency and federal funding on state, local and private infrastructure in Minnesota.  APWA-MN Past President Russ Matthys is representing APWA-MN on this Task Force, providing critical input to our elected officials on public works matters.

APWA-MN hosted two successful conferences in 2023 that shattered previous attendance records, in addition a Fall Workshop that drew enough interest for the Chapter to now plan both a Spring and a Fall Workshop for 2024!

With the start of the 2023-2024 academic year, all APWA-MN’s education and training opportunities are now being offered “in-house,” meaning the course offerings are coordinated and facilitated entirely through APWA-MN.  This change has benefited APWA-MN members in many ways, including more flexibility in when and how frequently programs are offered and a reduction in the Chapter’s cost to operate the programs.

The Minnesota Chapter’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee has partnered with the Minnesota Surveyors and Engineers Society (MSES) to jointly, and significantly, increase the Diversity Grant amount being offered for 2024.  This grant program is available to organizations/agencies to support initiatives that guide diverse populations of students and job seekers towards careers in public works.

The Minnesota Chapter’s efforts in 2023 aligned well with APWA National’s Strategic Initiatives for 2023-2026, which include:  Visibility, Workforce and DEI.  Our local Chapter initiatives will support APWA’s Strategic Goals for 2023-2026, and include:

Value:  Promoting the value of public works and enhancing its visibility and awareness.
Voice:  Being the voice of public works to government leaders, the public and media.
Education and Credentialing:  Providing excellence in education and credentialing.
Membership and Chapters:  Delivering an outstanding and valuable membership experience in collaboration with Chapters.

As we move into 2024, with APWA-MN Chapter President Jupe Hale at the helm, I look forward to continuing, coordinated efforts by the Minnesota Chapter to support the initiatives and goals of APWA.  

Thank you for the opportunity to represent the Chapter as your president this year!

Monica Heil, PE
WSB
2023 APWA-MN Chapter President

 

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