Public Works Academy

Cadet Training

Cadet Training prepares you with the opportunity for entry into a great new career or a mid-career change. In this three-month program, you will gain a solid educational background preparing your for a job in the field of public works or utilities.  Related fields include transportation, engineering, surveying and construction.

This program offers classes related to employability. The skills learned in these classes will help you select and be selected for a job where you can really make a difference. Our graduates work throughout the state in both private and public sector jobs.

Examples of careers obtained by our past graduates include: wastewater/potable water treatment plant operators, wastewater collection technicians, water distribution technicians, industrial maintenance mechanics, stormwater management technicians, solid waste drivers, utility locators and tree trimmers. This is only a short list of job titles that our previous student have filled.

Our curriculum totals 450 hours. Internship hours are 195 of the total.  You will fulfill your internship requirements at a local municipality (local government) or public service provider. 

Upon completion of this program, you will receive several industry certifications and a certificate of completion from Pinellas Technical College.

Cadets will visit up to five public works facilities as field trips.  This provides an opportunity for the Cadets to further explore careers in public works and to network with current professionals. Examples of field trips include: South Cross Bayou Advanced Wastewater Treatment Facility, Pinellas County Waste-to-Energy Plant and the City of Pinellas Park’s Public Works Operations Facility.

Classes are lead by an experienced instructor.  Current professionals also share their experiences and contemporary aspects of public works and utilities. Class topics include Public Works Organizations, Management/Supervision, Leadership, Employability Skills, and career exploration of the 14 areas of public works as described by the American Public Works Academy (APWA).

The admission process includes an interview, career counseling and orientation. Prospective students must be 18 years of age or older, hold a valid driver’s license and have a high school diploma or GED.

This program is provided through Pinellas Technical College and is accredited through the Council on Occupational Education. Classes for the Cadet program are held at Pinellas Technical College – St. Petersburg Campus. Class hours are 7 am to 11 am in class and internships 11:30 am to approximately 3:30 pm – Monday through Friday.

Financial Aid is available through several sources. Make an appointment with the Instructor to discuss Public Works program and any funding needs you may have.

Apprenticeship Training

Employees of our apprenticeship partners enter into a multi-year (2- to 5- year) agreement with the Public Works Academy and their employers to obtain training in their fields while working for their current employers.  Please note: Apprenticeships require that your employer be affiliated with the Public Works Academy and have signed into an Agreement with the State of Florida.

Apprenticeship Training programs are multi-year programs where apprentices obtain education by attending class one day per week while gaining practical job-related experience through their employers.

Current Apprenticeship Programs include: Pipefitters-Wastewater Collection, Pipefitters-Potable Water Distribution, Pipefitters-Stormwater, Industrial Maintenance Mechanics, and Roadway Technicians.

Experienced instructors lead these adult education apprenticeship programs, shared their industry knowledge and experience.

There is no cost to the employee or the employer.  The Department of Education funds this apprenticeship program.

Continuing Education

Continuing Education & Job Training is provided to those wanting to advance in their careers, maintain their industry certifications and/or transfer to another department.

Most Continuing Education & Job Training classes are 1/2 day to 3 day courses.

Courses are lead by experienced professionals with significant relevant experience.

Classes include Florida Department of Transportation’s Maintenance of Traffic (at the Basic, Intermediate and Advanced levels), Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Qualified Stormwater Management Inspector (Tier I and Tier II), OSHA 10 hour/30 hour (in Construction and General Industry), International Municipal Signal Association’s Signs, Signals, Markings, Roadway Lighting, and Traffic Signal Inspector.

We also provide health related classes such as American Safety and Health Institute’s & American Heart Association CPR/AED, First Aid and Bloodborne Pathogens.

Our job training includes such classes as forklift, scissor-lift, chainsaw, as well as, various equipment operation..  These are hands-on classes that familiarize our students with the equipment operations with a strong focus on their safe use.

Vehicle operation classes include: Van, Forklift and Scissor Lift Operations.

Recent Blog Posts

Posted on

APWA – Apply for Scholarship – March 14 Deadline

2020 Scholarship Application (CLICK HERE)


The Florida Chapter of the American Public Works Association (APWA), is designed to assist those individuals who are pursuing a career in the public works field. Encompassing disciplines from engineering, public administration, or continuing education for career enhancement of public agency employees is the philosophy of the Association. This assistance in education promotes and ensures a continuation of the high level of skill, talent, and professionalism that is the pride of every member.

For more than one hundred years, the APWA, and its Chapters traditionally strive for the advancement and continued development of all of the various components that make up the public works family. It is incumbent upon the membership of the Florida Chapter to lend a helping hand to those who have chosen the public works field as their career. The Scholarship Program is an integral part of achieving this goal.

In addition to traditional college or university scholarships, the Florida Chapter APWA will be awarding scholarships to individuals that are enrolled or have recently attended the Florida Public Works Institute or a Public Works Academy programs. The Florida Public Works Institute program and Public Works Academies provide leadership, management and operational training for public works employees who are looking to enhance their skills and advance their careers by developing an emphasis in real-world situations.


The Florida Chapter Scholarship Program includes four (5) categories for which scholarships are awarded:

1. CAREER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM: Awarded to a full or part-time employee of a public works agency who is currently registered for or recently attended formal training to enhance their professional development for public works employment or advancement opportunities. Examples of training include (but not limited to): heavy equipment certification; APWA Emerging Leaders Academy; Florida Water and Pollution Control Operators Association courses; CDL; and entry level college courses that pertain to the Public Works field. Up to $1,000 Award. 

2. PUBLIC WORKS ACADEMY PROGRAM: Awarded to an individual who is currently enrolled or has recently attended a Public Works Academy program to enhance their personal and professional development for public works employment opportunities or advancement. Up to $500 Award.

3. PUBLIC WORKS INSTITUTE PROGRAM: Awarded to an individual who is currently enrolled or has recently attended the Florida Public Works Institute program to enhance their personal and professional development for public works employment opportunities or advancement. Up to $500 Award.

4. UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAM: Awarded to a college student who is currently enrolled and has earned at least 60 credit hours through enrollment at an accredited college or university, seeking a Bachelor Degree in a government related or public works related field. Up to $1,000 Award.

5. GRADUATE PROGRAM: Awarded to a person who is currently enrolled and pursuing an advanced degree in Public Works Engineering, Public Administration or other public works related field at an accredited college or university. Up to $1,000 Award.


  • Award amounts are determined each year by the Florida Chapter Executive Committee.
  • Funds shall be used for fees including, but not limited to, tuition and books at an accredited private college, state university or college, technical centers and agencies, Florida Public Works Institute or Florida Public Works Academy; or for documented registration and travel expenses related to first time attendance at APWA Florida Chapter Expo, APWA National PWX, or other public works related conference at the discretion of the committee.
  • Upon request, recipients shall furnish receipts to the Scholarship Committee, validating proper use of funds. Failure to furnish receipts, or spending funds on unapproved items, will result in the applicant being ineligible for future funding.
  • Note: A lifetime limit of $2,000 per degree or program will be strictly enforced.


The Florida Chapter Scholarship Committee Chairperson will inform each applicant, prior to the Annual Meeting and Trade Show, as to the status of their application and the date the scholarship will be awarded. SCHOLARSHIPS SHALL BE PRESENTED IN CATEGORIES AS DETERMINED BY THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE. The application procedure is as follows:

A. Obtain an application in any of the following ways:
        1. Contact a member of the American Public Works Association Branch in the applicant’s area and request an application.
        2. Contact the Florida Chapter Scholarship Committee Chairperson and request an application.
        3. Contact the appropriate guidance counselor at the college or university the applicant attends and request a Florida Chapter Scholarship Application.
        4. Visit the Florida Chapter APWA website at and download a copy.  

B. Complete the application. Include all requested information. Incomplete applications, applications that do not include the requested documents and information, and applications not received by the submittal deadline will not be considered for award.

C. All applicants must provide a personal statement that addresses the following questions. (Personal statements should not exceed two pages in fonts no smaller than 10pt, double space).
    a. Why are you interested in the field of Public Works?
    b. In what area of Public Works do you intend to pursue a career?
    c. How do you plan to learn more and be involved in the APWA?
    d. How do you currently participate in your community and/or the Public Works professional community?
    e. Where do you see yourself after graduation? 

D. Return the application via email with the application and scanned documentation attached, to the Florida Chapter Scholarship Committee Chairperson:
Sam May, Scholarship Chair

Or scholarship may be submitted in hard copy format to:

Sam May, Scholarship Chair
City of North Lauderdale, Public Works Department
701 SW 71st Avenue
North Lauderdale, FL 33068
E. Deadline for Submittal is March 14th, 2020. Applicants are responsible for submitting all materials on time. Incomplete or late applications will not be evaluated. Students in Scholarship Categories 1-5 will be considered year round and are not subject to the deadline.

F. Scholarships are awarded for one year only. Applicants must apply for award each year. The actual number of scholarships awarded each year is contingent upon available Chapter funds.

G. The total number of scholarships and amount awarded in each category may vary each year.

H. The Scholarship Chairperson shall conduct the presentation of the scholarship award at the Florida Chapter Expo Awards and Scholarship Banquet held Thursday, April 23th, 2020 at the Hilton Downtown Tampa, Florida. Scholarship recipients are required to attend this meeting to receive the award, unless absence is approved by the Scholarship Committee.

2020 Scholarship Application (CLICK HERE)

Posted on

US DOL – Workforce Development in Florida

Workforce Development in Florida 

U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia visited Orlando and Tampa, Florida, where he participated in roundtable discussions on growing the economy and developing a skilled workforce with business leaders and workers. In Orlando, he also discussed the U.S. Department of Labor’s deregulatory agenda at the International Franchise Association’s 60th annual convention. In Tampa, he toured Port Tampa Bay to learn about their operations and workforce needs, as well as how the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement will create new career opportunities and grow the economy.

Posted on

University of Colorado – Making Mitigation Work Webinars

Webinar Series

The Natural Hazards Center, in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is pleased to announce this new webinar series, Making Mitigation Work. These free one-hour webinars feature innovative speakers and highlight recent progress in mitigation policy, practice, and research.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020 | 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Eastern

All Along the Wasatch Fault: Best Building Practices from Utah’s Earthquake Mitigation Efforts
Bradley Bartholomew, Utah Division of Emergency Management
Sean McGowan, Federal Emergency Management Agency

Tuesday, April 14, 2020 | 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Eastern

The Quiet Majority: Understanding Communities to Make Mitigation Work
Chris Barth, Bureau of Land Management
Hannah Brenkert-Smith, University of Colorado Boulder

Please save the times and dates for the additional upcoming Making Mitigation Work webinars and view past webinar recordings here!

Tuesday, May 12, 2020 | 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Eastern

Tuesday, June 9, 2020 | 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Eastern

Tuesday, August 11, 2020 | 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Eastern

Tuesday, September 8, 2020 | 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Eastern

Comments, Suggestions, or Questions? Please contact