VENTURA, Calif. – About 700 school children filled one of the parking lots at the Ventura County Government Center on May 23 when the Public Works Agency held its annual one-day celebration of National Public Works Week. The students were treated to demonstrations, activities, lots of heavy equipment and, for a few lucky classes, a visit to the Board of Supervisors meeting that was in session during the event.
“Not enough people know that the work of public works professionals is all around them, or about the many careers involved in ensuring our daily lives are safe and convenient,” said Public Works Director Jeff Pratt.
This year’s event had a strong emphasis on STEM-focused careers. At the internship and career booth, Public Works employees spoke to students about the many ways a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education could lead to career opportunities in public works. They also outlined the student worker and internship opportunities available with the agency.
The students – along with members of the public, drawn by the displays – visited dozens of displays and demonstrations that highlighted the diverse scope of work done by Public Work’s five departments. There was information on native and drought tolerant plants, surveying, rain and stream measurements, composting with worms, the importance of solar panels, demonstrations of the latest technology employed by the agency, and a chance to visit the Storm Operations Center. The City of Ventura’s public works team was also on-site with two informational booths and a demonstration of its Pothole Truck.
The commemorative day also included a resolution adopted by the Board of Supervisors and the announcement of this year’s Public Works Employees of the Year.
“National Public Works Week is a very important opportunity for us to educate and connect with the public,” said Pratt. “It gives the community a chance to get an in-depth look into the vital organizations that are dedicated to providing and sustaining the county’s infrastructure and environment while enhancing the safety, health and quality of life for them.”
To learn more about the Public Works Agency, visit their website at: http://vcpublicworks.org/.