APWA Michigan Chapter President’s Message Ju ....


October 2016

As mentioned in my first message, “change” is the mantra of our Chapter Executive Committee (EC) and we are hard at it. This month I want to share a few things the EC, and other members, are working on and some new endeavors we are considering.


2017 EXPO

Planning for our 2017 EXPO is well underway. Once again it will be a joint EXPO with Fleet Maintenance and Management with tracts similar to the past one held in May of 2016.

  • We are finalizing the EXPO floor exhibit space, education session rooms, banquet space, and other needs with the Grand Traverse Resort. We anticipate completing these arrangements in the next few weeks with the goal of having all arrangements locked down to be sure we have the space and rooms needed for our conference.
  • We are working on incorporating the feedback we received from the 2016 EXPO to ensure the 2017 EXPO is even more exciting and offers great benefits to our members and supporters.
  • With the space and time frames locked down, we will begin planning our education sessions, which involves issuing a request for presentations and contacting our vendors to see if they will participate by conducting an education session. If you have a topic you are interested in and would like to have an education session on it, or have any other suggestions, please contact me.
  • The committee is considering options for Tuesday for a “get-acquainted” activity; stay tuned for future announcements.
  • In short order, the request for award submittals will be issued. Once again the submittals will be “all digital” to simplify the process and conserve resources for the applicants.


New Branch and Review of Branch Districts

  • Earlier this year, the chapter was asked to look into the possibility of starting a Mid-Michigan branch. This idea was thoroughly discussed by the EC. It was decided to review all of our current branch districts to see if the membership would be better served by having different boundaries. The goal of revising boundaries would be to allow for shorter commutes to attend branch programs and increase branch participation levels.
  • A committee is being formed to explore this issue and provide a recommendation to the EC. We would like to have at least one member from each branch on the committee. If you are interested in participating on this committee, please contact me and I will forward your information on to the chairperson.


Public Works Academy

  • There is a group exploring the possibility of beginning a “Public Works Academy” or another form of a recognized training program for future public works employees. They have reached out to several education providers, such as local community colleges, education/vocation technology centers from county school districts, and others to see what it would take to start a program.
  • Currently the group is working on defining the skills needed, and potential training classes desired, to train future employees of the public works sector.
  • As public works professionals, we recognize the need to attract skilled employees into our profession. However, unlike other careers, there isn’t a recognized training tract to market and attract employees. By establishing an academy, it would provide at least one tool that can be used to market the public works career. This tool could be used at career fairs at high schools, vocational schools, community colleges, and other venues where potential employees could be introduced into the field of Public Works.


Sponsorship Opportunities

  • As 2016 draws to a close for many businesses, we are aware they may be in the budgeting phase and planning for 2017. With this in mind, an EC group has reached out to several of our current sponsors to obtain feedback on how our new sponsorship opportunities have worked for them. In particular, we wanted to know if they believe they receive a good value for the cost to be a sponsor. A year ago we introduced a new way of becoming a chapter sponsor by creating three different levels of sponsorship (platinum, gold, and silver), each with different levels of recognition. Additionally, sponsors have the ability to choose from an a la carte menu and pick individual opportunities to participate in. By introducing the three levels, a sponsor can pick the level they desire, budget for that cost, and not need to worry about being asked to sponsor events throughout the year. We would hope this allows sponsors to budget for this cost in advance and plan accordingly. Additionally, this allows for APWA to receive their sponsorship at the beginning of the year so we also can plan accordingly.
  • Sponsorship request for 2017 will be sent out soon. We are grateful for those sponsors who have supported APWA and hope all our vender members will take advantage of one of our sponsorship levels to support our organization.


Looking to the Future

As if the above-listed items aren’t enough to keep us occupied, below are some future endeavors we are entertaining.

  • Collaborating with LTAP to provide joint training for our combined membership.
  • Looking at ways of increasing our membership, which may involve having staff from APWA national conduct a training session.
  • The Site Selection Committee will be issuing a request to various venues to host our EXPO in 2018 and 2019.


As you can see, your Executive Committee is very busy tackling important issues to better serve our membership. If you have an interest in participating in one of these groups, or have any suggestions, concerns, or ideas, please contact me via e-mail or phone.



Douglas P. Skylis, PE

APWA Michigan Chapter President



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