The Public Works Association of New Jersey

In 1972 there were four Public Works groups in the State of New Jersey. The North Jersey Association, Bergen County Public Works Association, South Jersey Public Works Association and the Tri-County Public Works Association. In order to receive State recognition, leaders from the four groups met to merge into one state association.

In 1978 the group was successful in forming the new association known as The Public Works Association of New Jersey. The State was divided into six local regions by county and population. As a State association, the New Jersey State League of Municipalities now recognized the PWANJ as an affiliate member. The association started to participate in the League’s convention in Atlantic City the annual event in November, which continues to grow every year. With State recognition the association was able to lobby the State Legislature on various laws pertaining to issues relating to public works and it’s members.

In 1981 the association pursued and saw passage of a Tenure bill for Superintendents of Public Works. The association work closely with Rutgers the State University to formulate a training program now known as the Certified Public Works Manager (CPWM) program and in 1988 the first graduating class ceremony was held at the convention in Atlantic City. The association and Rutgers partnered to form the Public Works Institute, which oversees the CPWM education program and every region is represented on the institute. After a long negotiating process with the League and State Legislature the Certified Public Works Manager law was passed in 1994.

In 2001 working with Mr. William Dressel of the League the association was able to obtain passage of a PERS pension change (n/60 to n/55), which resulted in a nine percent increase in PERS member pensions. The association today enjoys a great working relationship with Mr. William Dressel and the League of Municipalities.

In the late nineties the association started to change and grow. The association formed many of the programs and services in place today. In 1997 the Association changed its bylaws to open membership to not just Superintendents but to all public works employees in the State of New Jersey. The association grew in leaps and bounds and it was necessary to redistrict the state into eight regions.

The increased membership and interest in the association saw the start of various events sponsored by the association throughout the state. The bi-annual equipment EXPO, professional on-line directory of members, and the Website.

The membership is around 2000 members today and the eight regions hold monthly meeting of the membership. The State Executive Board meets bi-monthly to conduct state business. The board holds an open membership meeting in November at the League of Municipalities Convention where the newly elected State Officers take the oath of office. Also during the convention the association and Rutgers Center for Government services annually conducts a graduation ceremony for graduates of the CPWM program. This event has grown into a graduation in the morning followed by a luncheon at noon attended by graduates, family members and members of the association.

The Public Works Association of New Jersey as we know it today works with the New Jersey State League of Municipalities (NJSLOM) and Rutgers University Center for Government Services for educational programs. The association works with the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) on CPWM licensing issues and the New Jersey State League of Municipalities (NJSLOM) on various legislating issues.

The association emphasizes education, technology and the advancement of professionalism in the field of Public Works. The association sponsors:

  • Training classes for members
  • CEU courses for CPWM members
  • Monitors legislative issues related to Public Works and PERS Pension issues
  • Conducts monthly Region meetings and training sessions
  • Bi-Annual Equipment EXPO
  • On-Line Directory of members
  • Information booth at the NJSLOM Convention
  • PWANJ Website

The monthly Region meetings allow members to meet fellow public works employees and exchange ideas. The Association creates a network of experience, knowledge and assistance among the members.

Join today, get involved and make a difference in your workplace, county and state by joining the Public Works Association.

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