The Public Works Academy is perhaps the oldest and longest continuously running school for public works education in the United States.
Created in 1989, the Academy has focused on three (3) programs. These programs include Cadet Training for those new to public works, Continuing Education for those obtaining/maintaining their industry certifications and the Apprenticeship programs for those just hired by our apprenticeship partners (such as, the City of St. Petersburg).
The program are offered at Pinellas Technical College – St. Petersburg Campus as well as at a variety of locations throughout the State of Florida. Selected courses are also offered through in-person classes as well as via distance learning.
Cadet Training prepares you for entry into a great new career or a mid-career change. In this 450-hour course (which is usually accomplished within 4-5 months), you will gain a solid educational background preparing your for a job in the field of public works or utilities. Related fields include transportation, potable water treatment/distribution, wastewater treatment/collection, stormwater/drainage, parks/landscaping, beach maintenance, engineering, surveying, construction and many others.
This program also offers classes related to obtaining gainful employment. 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. So you will be entering into a family with members statewide that will likely help you further your professional development.
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, parks technicians, 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 150 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 a Certificate of Completion from Pinellas Technical College, as well as, several industry certifications.
Cadets will visit up to five public works facilities as field trips. [this may be limited based on the COVID-19 pandemic and our partners availability and policies] 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.
Cadet program classes are lead by an experienced instructor named Peter Cavalli, MPA. Current public works professionals also share their experiences and current trends of public works and utilities.
In addition to the instruction based on the different operational division of public works, many background topics provide a great foundation to start your professional development. These foundational classes include Public Works Organizations, Management/Supervision, Leadership, Asset Management, Strategic Planning and others.
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 (from a school recognized by Pinellas Technical College_.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, sharing their industry knowledge and experience.
There is no cost to the employee or the employer. The Department of Education funds this apprenticeship program.
Contact Ray Gorman at 727.893.2500, ext 2587, if you organization wishes to explore the possibility of opening up another related apprenticeship program involving your organization.