American Public Works Association Partnership

Submitted By: Debbie Rulo, Director, Business Development and Strategic Partnerships
Program Contact: Debbie Rulo, Director, Business Development and Strategic Partnerships
Phone: 913-469-8500

Johnson County Community College

General Description

The American Public Work Association (APWA) Mid-America Region held its 2nd annual Training & Big Equipment Roadeo Expo on September 24 & 25, 2019. APWA serves professionals in all aspects of public works. This was the second year Johnson County Community College (JCCC) assisted with this event. The college’s role included: taking registrations and money for the event, scheduling the big equipment competitions, helping to score the competitions, providing 13 different training titles, and check-in on each day. There were 13 municipalities who participated this year and 115 individuals enrolled in the event which was nearly double the participation from last year. We anticipate over 200 participants next year and have grown out of the current location. The event itself is a way for JCCC to meet multiple clients in one setting as well as give individuals a sampling of many of our class titles (50-minute sessions). JCCC has built a very strong partnership with the Mid-America Region of APWA by working with them on their annual training event, attending their monthly training meetings and providing customized training to individual municipalities as requested throughout the year.

​New Curriculum

This program was designed to help a close partner (APWA) which needed an organization who had the tools and resources to schedule and administer their annual training event. At the same time, this project gave JCCC an opportunity to showcase many of our classes: Leadership and Supervisory; Social Media, Project Management, Safety, and Healthcare classes – as 50-minute sessions. This allowed the many municipalities attending the event to get a better understand of the class and can then schedule the entire 8-hour (or more) class at their individual cities throughout the year. The 2-day event was not intended to be a huge money maker for the college, although a 50% margin was made, but making the multiple contacts within the various cities for future business was most valuable. There have been various contracts with specific cities since the first year of helping with this event. JCCC is also working on a Certificate Program for Public Works for both classroom and hands-on skills so individual employees from all the various cities can show what skills they have been tested on and are proficient in. As APWA’s annual training event continues to grow each year, so will their relationship with JCCC.


This annual training event for APWA is a perfect way to showcase individual class titles and give attendees a 50-minute look at each course being offered in multiple program areas. If the topic is a need for any specific municipality, a contract can be set-up for the full 8+ hour class or individuals could attend the public classes offered throughout the year. This is a great opportunity for CE to increase Client Contacts, Contract Training and increase the overall Enrollment for the branch. This event almost doubled the number of attendees from the first year to the 2nd year and the committee is planning on an increase for next year as well.


This program makes a 50% margin from the training held during the 2-day event. It is sustainable and will maintain the 50% margin each year. Although this program will make a 50% margin each year, the true value comes in the multiple relationships made and the contract training held throughout the year with the individual cities as well as with the enrollment from the Certificate Program for Public Works.


American Public Works Association is organized within nine regions. There are 63 chapters located throughout North America and serve virtually every metropolitan area, state, province and region on the continent. Any institution can partner with the Regional APWA Chapter and help with their training event. If a region does not have a training event in place, it could be something to help them develop.