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

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Pinellas County Virtual Info Session for Employment Opportunities

Do you have trades or vocational skills? Register now for a one-hour virtual info session on August 18 at noon. At Pinellas County Government, we have over 400 trades and vocational positions in a variety of departments. Learn about our outstanding benefits, and how to join our growing team. Registration required:  #WorkGrowMatter

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FEMA – National Preparedness Assessment Division (NPAD) – Request for Comment – Effectiveness of Homeland Security Grant

Please find information on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)’s National Preparedness Assessment Division (NPAD) request for comment on the effectiveness of Homeland Security grants. This information has been provided by APWA partner, the National Homeland Security Consortium (NHSC).

FEMA recently issued a Request For Information (RFI) in the Federal Register seeking input on measuring the impact that the Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP) has had on preparedness. The RFI, Federal Register FEMA-2020-0008 Notice, is attached if you wish to review and comment.

The Federal Register notice is attached. The comment period for the RFI closes on November 9, 2020

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FEMA – Public Works Training Opportunities

The Federal Government provides a number of training opportunities for emergency management/homeland security training that are available to public works professionals. Some of these training opportunities are online while others are in-person (post COVID). This APWA Click, Listen, and Learn program will cover the most common training opportunities and provide participants information on how to connect with these free training resources.   
Webinar, Date: Thursday, July 30thTime: 10-11 AM Central time (11 AM – 12 PM Eastern, 9-10 AM Mountain, 8-9 AM Pacific)
This program is sponsored by the APWA Emergency Management Committee

Learn more and register here:

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APWA – All new Washington Report

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July 20, 2020 

APWA offers several advocacy tools to our members to voice your expertise and opinions to elected officials at the federal level. It is critical public works professionals use these advocacy tools to share your stories of continuing to provide essential services and facing new challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your efforts will help ensure the resources you need are available and distributed appropriately. Access these tools and stay apprised of APWA Government Affairs by following  on Twitter and checking out our website for daily updates to APWA Advocacy News, Action Alerts, Advocacy Letters, InfoNow communities, public works research and our 116th Congress Public Policy Priorities.

APWA Advocacy

    • APWA offers several advocacy tools to our members to voice your expertise and opinions to elected officials at the federal level.




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American Public Works Association

1200 Main Street, Suite 1400

Kansas City, MO 64105-2100

Toll Free (800) 848-2792 | Local (816) 472-6100 | Fax (816) 472-1610

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FEMA Holds National Engagement Period for Resource Management

FEMA Holds National Engagement Period for Resource Management

FEMA seeks public feedback on the draft of the National Incident Management System document,Guideline for Resource Management Preparedness. Feedback will be accepted until 5 p.m. ET on July 23. National engagement provides an opportunity for interested parties to comment on the draft document to ensure that it is relevant for all implementing partners.