When we think of essential workers, our minds immediately focus on doctors, nurses, firefighters and police—and rightly so.
But as the COVID pandemic has shown us, Public Works professionals are essential, too.
Over the last year, many businesses, schools and daycares have reduced hours or closed all together, directing staff to work from home.
Many of our Public Works staff, like millions of other Americans, faced the challenge of taking care of their children when schools and daycares closed. Some, with limited options, needed to stay home to provide childcare. The result was that, on any given day, our available staffing was down by 30 percent.
Yet the City of U.P.’s Public Works team kept the streets open, the streetlights on, the traffic signals functioning, storm drains clear, potholes repaired, snow plowed, etc. In short, your Public Works professionals stepped up to ensure the City’s critical public infrastructure needs were met and basic services were provided to support regular daily activities.
For more than 50 years, the American Public Works Association has sponsored National Public Works week as an opportunity to educate the general public about the value and necessities of public works to improving our everyday quality of life.
This year’s Public Works Week is from May 16-22. During this time, if you see a Public Works team at work in your neighborhood or around the city, take a moment to thank them for their service during the pandemic and for all they do to keep University Place humming along.