APWA Michigan Chapter President’s Message

APWA Michigan Chapter President’s Message

As the winter season is quickly coming upon us, we are wrapping up summer projects and gearing up for what Mother Nature is going to give us this winter. Every day I am hearing much of the same thing, “too much to do and not enough people or time to get it done.” Along with that, we all are experiencing an abundance of pressure with the happenings around the world, so I am glad you are taking a moment to relax as you are reading this issue of Great Lakes Reporter.

All of us involved with the State Chapter have been working diligently to add as much value to your APWA membership as possible. From working with community colleges to get individuals interested in working in Public Works to including presentations on the current challenges everyone is facing, we strive to provide you with the best. COVID made everything a challenge this year, but after having to reschedule both the Spring session of MPSI and the Great Lakes Expo to the fall, we were finally able to resume in person events.

The Public Works Academy, which is currently being run through Grand Rapids Community College, has given the starting framework to over 60 individuals. These graduates are now prepped and becoming beneficial employees within Public Works.

The Michigan Public Service Institute, held in Mt. Pleasant, was able to complete both the Spring and Fall sessions. There were 33 graduates in the Spring session and 31 graduates in the Fall session. These individuals who completed the three-year program put on by the MPSI Advisory Committee and Central Michigan University are now better equipped to reach their professional goals. This allows them to better serve their organization more effectively and efficiently.

The Road Scholar Program was also able to resume for its second year. This program is providing road right of way workers comprehensive training in various aspects for standards and safety of the tasks they perform. They had a great lineup of classes including the 10-Hour OSHA. There were 48 people in attendance: 25 Year One attendees and 23 Year Two. Next year's program will bring the first graduating class of this three-year program.

The Midwest Advanced Public Service Institute had 54 attendees as they met this fall in New Buffalo, Michigan. This four-day event intended for graduates of MPSI keeps individuals up to date on leadership skills and helps to address current workplace challenges.

We also had a well-attended Great Lakes Expo at Grand Traverse Resort. From a great vendor floor showing off new and innovative products to great presentations offering a wealth of information, this event helped to enrich people’s brains and provided necessary credits to maintain their licenses. It also allowed individuals to reconnect with their peers and have the ever-important networking time needed to better perform their jobs.

The 2022 Great Lakes Expo is slated to take place during its normal Spring timeframe. We are already gearing up for this event and many others that will be taking place during the year. There are many tasks both big and small that will take place and with that I would like to ask anyone who is interested to consider volunteering.

As we enter the holidays, I hope everyone can take a moment to relax, spend time with their family and enjoy what we have been given. I wish everyone a wonderful and safe holiday season along with a Happy New Year!

Duane Poole
Bloomfield Township
MI-APWA President