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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APWA – Congressional Republicans Work to Expand Trump Order on Streamlining

Congressional Republicans Work to Expand Trump Order on Streamlining

  • Congressional Republicans introduced legislation to expand on the Executive Order recently signed by President Trump urging federal agencies to accelerate projects on federal lands;
  • Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and James Lankford (R-Okla.) introduced two bills to change the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to speed up infrastructure projects;
  • The first, S. 3926, would amend the 2015 Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act to give “project proponents more control over the timetable, and prevents litigants from unnecessarily holding up projects;”
  • The second, S. 3927, would reduce the time that opponents could challenge a project permit or approval in court from 150 days to 90;
  • In the House, Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) introduced H.R. 7130, which would codify into law the president’s 2017 executive order consolidating the review process across federal agencies;
  • APWA supports various elements of these bills in comments submitted in March on NEPA reforms, including:
    • Establishing a time limit of two years for completion of Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) and one year for Environmental Assessments (EA);
    • Establishing a 300-page limit for each EIS and a 75-page limit for each EA;
    • Establishing a lead federal agency to develop a joint review schedule, and preparation of a single EIS and joint record of decision for projects that require multi-agency reviews;
    • Excluding non-federal projects (or those with minimal federal funding or involvement) from the NEPA review process;
    • Reducing duplication between federal, state and local governments by facilitating the use of documentation required by other statutes to comply with NEPA.
  • APWA is supportive of previous efforts to streamline regulations, including under the FAST Act and the “One Federal Decision” executive order;
  • APWA’s comments also reinforce the need for state and local control in infrastructure projects;
  • APWA members do not support inserting a “shot-clock” regarding permit review in any update of the NEPA regulations;
  • The comments make clear the need to keep “cumulative reviews” as a part of NEPA in order to accurately assess environmental impacts and resiliency of infrastructure.
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U.S. DOT Announces Safety Data Initiative Funds

U.S. DOT Announces Safety Data Initiative Funds

  • On June 10, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced $3.3 million in cooperative funding agreements from its Safety Data Initiative will be made available to numerous state and local governments around the country;
  • The Safety Data Initiative applies data integration and analysis techniques, tests new tools, and shares lessons learned and best practices to advance transportation safety;
  • Click here for more information on the initiative.
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DHS Seeking Feedback from First Responders on UAS

DHS Seeking Feedback from First Responders on UAS

  • Last week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced they are seeking comments on the survey,“Understanding Public Perception and Acceptance of First Responders Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems” until July 9, 2020;
  • The intent of the survey is to identify concerns with and understand the public perception of current and potential uses of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) technology by first responders;
  • The survey requests respondents include their demographic characteristics, knowledge of UAS, general attitudes about such use, and opinions about the use of drones by first responders for specific applications like search-and-rescue.
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APWA – FEMA Releases Business Emergency Operations Center Guidance

FEMA Releases Business Emergency Operations Center Guidance

  • Last week, FEMA released the “Business Emergency Operations Center Quick Start Guidance;”
  • The guidance is designed to provide states, local, tribes and territories with basic recommendations for establishing a Business Emergency Operations Center (BEOC) to support COVID-19 response and recovery operations.
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APWA – FEMA Seeking Comments on Effectiveness in Maintaining and Improving Preparedness

FEMA Seeking Comments on Effectiveness in Maintaining and Improving Preparedness