Introduction to Public Works for Administrative Staff – City of Surrey, BC

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Dates and Time:

Monday October 28th and Tuesday October 29th, 2019 – 8:30am – 4:00pm

Location:

City of Surrey Operations Centre
6651 148 St. Surrey, BC

Course Description:

Specifically designed for the administrative professional working in a public works context, this course brings a blend of sessions that will help improve your communication skills, and increase your knowledge of public works in general. This course covers administrative and organizational skills required in the transportation, utilities, solid waste collection and disposal, emergency management, facilities and grounds including parks, water supply and safety, waste water collections, treatment and disposal, storm water and flood control, engineering technology, and equipment and fleet management.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Broaden knowledge of public works operations
  • Develop leadership skills
  • Expand soft skills including emotional intelligence and networking
  • Study methods in dealing with difficult conversations
  • Discover communication styles

Who Should Attend?

Administrative assistants, executive assistants, office managers or coordinators, clerks, or anyone who plays an important administrative role in a local government public works department or with an agency that supports public works.

Event Schedule / Agenda:

Discounted hotel rates have been secured at the Holiday Inn and Suites in Cloverdale (17530 64th Avenue, Surrey BC).
Please call 604-576-8862 and use code “PWABC” when booking

Instructors:

Jeannette Austin (Diamond J. Consulting)

Jeannette has over 8 years of experience as a consultant, trainer, coach and Non-Profit Executive. She also has 15 years of municipal government experience in Alberta holding positions such as Manager of Planning and Development, Director of Operations, and Director of Community Services. She holds a Certificate in Local Government Administration from the University of Alberta. Jeannette also has 10 years of customer service experience with a variety of companies.

Cost:

$550 plus GST includes light breakfast, coffee, and lunch

Register:

https://events.eply.com/2019PWAdmin

Cancellation Policy:

Registration for this course can be transferred to another individual at anytime. Cancellations are permitted until October 18th and will be subject to a $50 fee. No refunds are available after this date.

 

 

BC Ground Disturbance Seminar – Kelowna, BC

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Dates and Time:

October 23, 2019

Location:

Kelowna, BC

Seminar Description:

Join us in a one day session that covers all you need to know about ground disturbance including: regulatory updates, BC One Call requirements, excavation safety, hydrovac and locate demonstration.

This Seminar Qualifies for EOCP 0.6 CEU’s and BC Housing 7.25 CPD’s

For more information and for registration please visit:

 https://globaltrainingcentre.com/cart_builder.cfm?ProductID=5653

Understanding & Developing Levels of Service Workshop – Richmond, BC

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Dates and Time:

November 8, 2019

Location:

Radisson Vancouver Airport Hotel, Richmond, BC
Workshop Description:

November 8, 2019  Radisson Vancouver Airport Hotel, Richmond, BC – In conjunction with the annual conference, AMBC will be hosting its first full-day workshop on how to document and assess community levels of service in small communities.  This will begin with a one-hour session on what levels of service is and why it’s important, and transition into a workshop-style how to session.  Participants will leave the workshop with levels of service completed for at least one of their service areas, a toolkit to guide and support ongoing implementation, and an expanded network of contacts from across BC who are at a similar stage in their asset management journey

For more information and for registration please visit: https://www.assetmanagementbc.ca/understanding-developing-levels-of-service-workshop/

 

 

 

2019 Asset Management BC Annual Conference – Vancouver, BC

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Dates and Time:

November 6 – 7th, 2019

Location:

Radisson Hotel – Vancouver Airport
Conference Description:

Mark November 6 – 7th, 2019 on your calendar for the 2019 Asset Management BC Annual Conference, at the Radisson Hotel – Vancouver Airport. The conference theme is Innovate, Communicate and Celebrate – A Culture of Continuous Improvement. Learn about practical approaches and solutions for implementing asset management in your community such as managing risk, establishing levels of service, measuring performance, building corporate capacity, small community challenges, effective communication, and more. The 2019 Preliminary Conference Program is now available.

For more information and for registration please visit: https://www.assetmanagementbc.ca/2019-asset-management-bc-annual-conference/

 

 

 

2019 Winter Roadeo – Township of Langley, BC

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Dates and Time:

Wednesday November 6, 2019 from 08:00 – 16:30

Location:

Township of Langley – Public Works Operations Centre
4700 – 224 Street
Langley, BC
V2Z 1N4

https://www.tol.ca/

Course Description:

Full day of winter maintenance training related snow removal, anti-icing, de-icing methods specific to the Metro Vancouver area and climate. Join the staff at the Township of Langley to learn about their approach, share and compare best practices and find some ideas to take back with you.

Event Schedule / Agenda:

7 Stations that groups of approx.. 15 people rotate through every 40 minutes, the stations are as follows (subject to change)

  • Tandem Sander/Plow Overview – How the equipment works and should be operated
  • Truck Roadeo – Obstacle course for class III drivers.  Practical hands on training, raising and lowering belly plow and front mount plow, pushing snow and tires, imitation railroad tracks etc.
  • Pre-Trip inspection – Highlights the importance of pre/post trip inspection, groups are divided up and perform a pre-trip inspection
  • Plowing Techniques – How to plow depending on road classification, road width etc.
  • Material Basics – Salt, Brine overview.  When do we use each material, when is effective/ineffective
  • Routes & Priorities – Discussion of our maps and priority ranking
  • Brine System / Loader – Practical hands on training of how to load your brine tank and how to use loader for picking up salt and depositing into our sander

Instructors:

Supervisors from Township of Langley

Cost:

$150 per person

Register:

https://events.eply.com/2019WinterRoadeo

Cancellation Policy:

Registration for this course can be transferred to another individual at anytime. Cancellations are permitted until October 31th and will be subject to a $30 fee. No refunds are available after this date.

 

 

New Solar Lighting Systems for City of Vancouver

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Vancouver, B.C., Canada – The City of Vancouver’s Arbutus Greenway now has solar lighting systems from Canadian-based company Urban Solar. This intelligent lighting system will enhance the city’s urban landscape contributing to a vibrant and beautiful public space for walking and cycling.

Urban Solar’s team created a customized solution using Solar LED Lighting (SLL) series units placed at strategic intervals between W 33rd Ave. and W 37th Ave.
Completely off-grid, the system requires no trenching or utility hookup, meaning a quicker
installation and that the lighting won’t be affected by power outages. The ECM Connect™ feature utilizes wireless connectivity to provide several new lighting control features and benefits for reliability.
“Sustainability is a core value at Urban Solar. Public projects like the City of Vancouver’s Arbutus Greenway are why we got into this industry to start with and we’re excited to be a part of it,” says Jeff Peters, the company’s president.
According to its Greenest City Action Plan, “Vancouver is rising to meet the green transportation challenge by creating compact neighbourhoods with higher density to provide easy access to
work, shopping and recreation. The City has shifted
investment to walking, cycling and transit infrastructure instead of building new roads.”
Among the latest of these investments is the Arbutus Greenway. Since the City acquired the stretch of land, which runs from the False Creek area to the Fraser on the un- ceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-
Waututh First Nations, an exciting program of improvements and innovative upgrades have
been bringing the greenway up to current standards for accessibility, safety and aesthetics.
The public bid process for this project took into consideration Vancouver’s goals to be a green city and required the use of UL (Underwriters Laboratories) system level certification. With a corporate focus on sustainability, and industry-leading, UL-certified systems, Urban Solar was awarded this multi-year contract.

Press contact: Charlotte O’Reilly | marketing@urbansolarcorp.com | 250-884-3366

Winter Maintenance Operator Certificate

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Dates and Location

Monday October 7, 2019: Fernie Curling Club, Fernie, BC
Wednesday October 9, 2019: Shadbolt Centre, Burnaby, BC

Time:  9am to 2pm

Description

This course content has been developed in by PWABC in collaboration with Vaisala and snow and ice professionals from the Salt Institute, Lethbridge and Minneapolis. It builds on the content delivered in 2018 and incorporates an introduction to best practices for operations staff responsible for snow removal and also includes tips for smaller municipalities.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Preparations based on weather forecasts
  • Salt and sand applications, rates of application and speeds
  • Pre trips on plow equipment and loaders
  • Best practices to remove snow regionally i.e. roundabouts, driveways, bike lanes
  • Public education, outreach and social media i.e. responsibility to clear sidewalks
  • Liquid salt brine, application and precautions, pros and cons
  • Salt management, storing and handling
  • Snow plowing, preparation and equipment, precautions and hazards
  • Risk assessments for plowing, salting, sanding and brine applications
  • Use of RWIS (Road Weather Information Systems) in larger municipality
  • Use of Traffic Camera, CCTV, SCADA, AWL, and communication devices
  • Best practices for training new staff

Who should attend?

  • All levels of winter maintenance field staff;
  • Public works professionals new to winter maintenance;
  • Public works professionals looking to hear new ideas and gain different perspectives.

Instructors:

  • Mark DeVries, Vaisala
  • Bret Hodne, Public Work Director, City of West Des Moines
  • John Scharffbillig, Director of Fleet Services, City of Minneapolis
  • Lee Perkins, Transportation Operations Manager City of Lethbridge
  • Wilf Nixon, Vice President, Salt Institute

Cost: $149 plus GST includes morning coffee & lunch. Free parking

Register: 

Burnaby: https://events.eply.com/2019WMOBurnaby

Fernie: https://events.eply.com/2019WMOFernie

Cancellation Policy:

Registration for this course can be transferred to another individual at any time. Cancellations are permitted until September 30th and will be subject to a $50 fee. No refunds are available after this date.

APWA Winter Maintenance Supervisors Workshops

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pwabc-winter-maintenance-supervisor-certificate

Dates and Location

Monday October 7, 2019: Fernie Ice Rink, Fernie BC
Wednesday October 9, 2019: Shadbolt Centre, Burnaby, BC
Time
8am – 3:30pm

Description

This course provides a well-rounded overview of all aspects of snow and ice control for individuals charged with supervising their winter maintenance operations. The curriculum is developed by the American Public Works Association and is delivered by experienced Public Works professionals from Canada and the US.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Expand knowledge of planning and preparation
  • Increase understanding of winter weather and how it affects operations
  • Identify how to better use traditional and alternative chemicals
  • Consider what equipment is available and how to maintain it
  • Expand understanding of snow & ice control techniques
  • Appreciate the environmental impacts of winter maintenance policies

Who should attend?

  • Supervisors with winter maintenance responsibilities
  • Operators who aspire to be supervisors
  • Operators who want a greater understanding of winter maintenance processes

Instructors:

  • Mark DeVries, Vaisala
  • Bret Hodne, Public Work Director, City of West Des Moines
  • John Scharffbillig, Director of Fleet Services, City of Minneapolis
  • Lee Perkins, Transportation Operations Manager City of Lethbridge
  • Wilf Nixon, Vice President, Salt Institute

Cost: $349 plus GST includes morning coffee & lunch

Register: 

Burnaby: https://events.eply.com/2019WMSBurnaby

Sparwood/Fernie: https://events.eply.com/2019WMSFernie

Cancellation Policy:

Registration for this course can be transferred to another individual at any time. Cancellations are permitted until September 30th and will be subject to a $50 fee. No refunds are available after this date.

Gender Parity in Public Works

woman-in-the-workforce-contruction

It is refreshing to see women’s issues raising to the fore with highly publicized, Hollywood-led campaigns such as #MeToo and #TimesUp. For the first time in a long time, women’s issues are headline news on a global scale. March 8th is International Women’s Day and this year the theme was #PressForProgress; it’s a reminder to keep motivated and demand gender parity.

Vancouver Island celebrates these phenomenal women in public works #PressForProgress!

Vancouver Island celebrates these phenomenal women in public works #PressForProgress!

So, where are we now? The World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report reviewed the gaps between women and men in four key categories: health, education, economy and politics. It found that the global gender gap stands at 68 per cent, meaning that globally women are 32 per cent less equal to men in the aforementioned categories.

Interestingly, Canada and the U.S. were ranked as the 16th and 49th most equal countries respectively out of the 144 countries indexed. Both of them scored comparatively well when it came to economic parity with Canada ranked as 10th most equal (73 per cent parity) and the U.S. ranked 3rd (75 per cent parity). However, when looking at contextual data relevant to public works, both countries demonstrated that they were doing a poor job of encouraging women to enter into post secondary degrees that generate the public works leaders of tomorrow with only 22 and 19 per cent of engineering and construction graduates being female in Canada and the U.S. This is important because one of the keys to closing the economic opportunity gap has been identified as having more women in charge. The report shows that when women are participating in leadership roles, more women are hired right across the board at all levels.

There is no better time for us in the public works arena to use International Women’s Day as an opportunity to unite, celebrate and advocate for women in public works. With this in mind, I took the opportunity to speak to three female public works leaders in my chapter and asked them what they think it takes to be a successful woman in our industry, what changes they have seen and how we can advocate for more women in our field.

What attracted you to Public Works?

Susan: It’s important work, elemental to society. I also like working with practical, resourceful people who take pride in doing a great job. People in public works like to get stuff done!

Jen: I never thought about becoming an engineer. There was a boy in my class who was going to pursue a career in engineering, I thought, “I can do that too.” My other options would have been a lawyer or a doctor; I am glad I opted for engineer. It is so rewarding to serve my community.

Nikii: When I was given the opportunity to do construction for the greater good—as opposed to completely for profit—it was a great fit for me.

What do you think women bring to public works?

Susan: Women advocate for new approaches, and have great problem solving and listening skills.

Jen: A totally different perspective and an ability to marry community with operations. Women have real insight when it comes to what the community wants. Women’s ideas make their community better to live in. I dis-like the attitude of “we do it this way because we’ve been doing this way for ever;” women can change that.

Nikii: Honestly, what we bring to the field is no different to what men in public works bring—a desire to better a community and make a difference in people’s everyday lives.

Do you think public works is ready for more women and what opportunities do you think public works offers women?

Susan: In most cases, public works is ready for more women, especially larger organizations. Smaller organizations may be less ready as they may have less experience of hiring women.

Jen: Public works is ready for more women. The sooner the better; women are very much under represented. There is no reason why women can’t work in this field. Public works offers women the opportunity to mould their community and bring benefits that may not have been thought of without a woman.

Nikii: Yes, I absolutely feel that public works is ready for more women and I have been very lucky to have worked with some absolutely stellar women in various roles in public works. Public works offers a living wage, great benefits and a team atmosphere. There is a great sense of accomplishment and pride that comes from ensuring that the public enjoys the wonderful parks, facilities and infra-structure that is there to serve them.

What do you think are the barriers between women and public works?

Susan: It depends upon the organization but a lot of times the entry level jobs involve physical labour. The barrier is how we choose to bring people into public works. Women excel in technical and equipment operator positions.

Jen: It’s not typically or historically considered “women’s work.” Trades, for example, are not typically attractive to women. We can do much to change this by encouraging young women to consider these areas during their education.

Nikii: I think most of the barriers now are self-imposed—it simply isn’t thought about as a career path by women as much as it historically has been by men. I think we have to actively promote this career path in schools and at a young age, like primary school outreach.

Have you seen attitudes towards women in the public works workplace change?

Susan: Change has been sporadic and depends upon the size of the organization. The more women an organisation has the better it will be. The first woman may struggle and will have to prove herself.

Jen: Attitudes are changing and I have seen improvements in the last 15 years that I have been with the city. I remember one time I was out at a work function with the CAO who is male, many people automatically assumed I was there with him on a personal level and were surprised when they learned I was the Director of Public Works. It saddens me, and I wonder why people would be surprised.

Nikii: Definitely. The “old boys club” reputation was absolutely earned. However, as more women are employed in public works, this naturally dissipates Also, new employees, both male and female, have very different opinions about gender-based roles than some of their predecessors.

Do you have any tips for women on how they can excel in the public works arena?

Susan: Play to your strengths, don’t try to emulate your male counterparts. Don’t let men define what “tough” means.

Jen: It is important that women in public works connect with one another. If you have a problem, it is likely that there will be a woman that will have come through it already. We can help each other and it is important to take advantage of that.

Nikii: Be yourself, ask questions and listen to the answers. Be the one with the best skills, knowledge and ability to do the work, get hired on merit, and get promoted on merit. Make sure you can do all aspects of the job you apply for, and be willing to learn the things you don’t know. All of the women that I know who excel in public works have three things in common; they work really hard as a part of a team, they ask questions when they don’t know the answers and provide feedback to others when they think it would be of value, and they come to work with a great attitude—exactly the same recipe for success as for men.


By Charlotte Davis, City of Nanaimo
Charlotte Davis is the Manager of Sanitation, Recycling and Public Works Administration, for the City of Nanaimo, British Columbia.

Susan Clift provides consultancy services to municipalities in the area of public works and engineering. She worked at the City of Vancouver for 25 years where she had the accolade of being the first female engineer ever hired and more recently, she served as the director of Public Works and Engineering at the City of Nanaimo and City of Colwood.

Jen Fretz is the Director of Public Works and Utilities for the City of Kamloops. Jen is an engineer who started out in the private sec-tor and has been with Kamloops since 2004, where she progressed through a variety of pub-lic works managerial roles to her current role.

Nikii Hoglund is Director of Engineering and Public Works at the City of Colwood. Prior to working in the municipal world, Nikii worked in the private sector in the civil construction and rail industries. She has managed projects in New Zealand, Australia and Peru. Closer to home, Nikii’s first public works role was with the City of Richmond. She has also held roles in North Vancouver, Lions Bay and Sechelt.

References

The Global Gender Gap Report 2017. World Economic Forum (2017) www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_ GGGR_2017.pdf