logoCourse Description

This course is designed for supervisors, lead workers or others who find themselves involved in the management process - and perhaps concerned that they should be better prepared to do this job. It is not for middle or upper level managers or administrators who may be more concerned with the total organization or achieving organizational goals.

Objectives: Upon completion of this module, participants will be able to:

  • Define the role of supervisor by identifying the required skill set for success.
  • Develop a system for hiring and training new employees to maximize work efficiency.
  • Identify ways to manage stress by eliminating obstacles and managing time.
  • Discuss different options for dealing with conflict to select correct styles for managing situations.
  • Understand what is meant by an organization’s culture and discuss how it impacts completion of daily tasks.
  • Develop a strategy to manage labor relationships.

logo Course Description

This course illustrates the substance of management is working with people.By using the people resources and by treating people with respect, understanding their needs and involving them in the decision making process we will maximize the potential of our operations.

Objectives: Upon completion of this module, participants will be able to:

  • Apply the selection process
  • Develop a training program
  • Understand labor management contracts and working relationships
  • Identify problem employees and select a course of action
  • Recognize effective delegation techniques and the value of employee empowerment

logo Course Description

This course takes a comprehensive look at effective communication strategies. It includes an overview of public relations and various types of communication, as well as presentation skills, and conducting effective meetings.

Objectives: Upon completion of this module, participants will be able to:

  • Develop a strategy to improve your agencies public image
  • Compose a variety of business letters and understand when to use each
  • Understand the difference between report writing and other business writing
  • Identify and develop a presentation using a structured template to efficiently focus ideas
  • Discuss the steps required to manage an effective meeting

logoCourse Description

This course explores the concepts of creating a vision for the future and the ability to communicate that vision to others.

This would include:

  • Exploring and Discussing the Elements of Leadership
  • Ethics
  • Organizational Self-Assessment
  • Defining Excellence
  • Team Development

Objectives: Upon completion of this module, participants will be able to:

  • Involve the elements of leadership successfully
  • Understand the role of leadership and how it relates to a successful manager
  • Recognize the importance and impacts of ethics as a leader and manager
  • Identify individual leadership styles including the strengths and weaknesses of each
  • Apply team development concepts for more successful team interactions
  • Discuss the processes of self-assessment and defining excellence

logoCourse Description

This course examines the need for and the practice of community service and customer orientation through the use of employee skills. These skills are acquired and best taught by the examples shown by an organization’s leaders. The decisions and processes that are used to define your agencies’ customers not only define what group(s) are included, but they also often emphasize the strategies that may be used to allow better communications with that group.

Objectives: Upon completion of this module, participants will be able to:

  • Understand management’s role in the customer service arena.
  • Identify different customers.
  • List the six steps of communication with different customers.
  • Analyze current operations to identify staff training needs.
  • Understand management’s role in the public relations arena.
  • Understand the role of public relations in changing or molding public perceptions.
  • Develop some basic techniques for dealing with the media.




logoCourse Description

Public Works leadership requires competencies in many areas including engineering, public finance, human resource management, and increasingly, knowledge of the law.  By its nature, public works fundamentally involves decision-making impacting employee safety and health, protecting the environment, and stewardship of public resources.  While a comprehensive understanding of the law in any of these areas is impractical for public works leaders, a working understanding of issues surrounding local, state, and federal regulations is critical to avoid legal liabilities and to promote successful operations.

Objectives: Upon completion of this module, participants will be able to:

  • Be more cognizant and effective his/her administration of labor agreements.
  • Identify the correlation between daily operation of public works and the legal/regulatory framework.
  • Identify issues where proactive legal advice is good risk management.
  • Understand the protections afforded to “whistle blowers”


logo Course Description

This course examines the organization, operation, and interaction of branches of government at the federal, state, and local levels. The legislative process in each results in laws, regulations, policies and guidelines that may greatly affect local public works operations. The judicial and executive branches independently provide the system of checks and balances that are the foundation of our government system. Understanding those processes which are involved at all three levels is the first step for individuals to positively impact the final laws and regulations and to assure that they are the best for society as possible. Knowing and building personal relationships with legislators along with making your willingness to share your knowledge with others during the subcommittee/committee portion of the law making process can help direct final results into a meaningful and useful law.

Objectives: Upon completion of this module, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the concept of government relations
  • Understand their role in the legislative and regulatory process
  • Identify that adequate funding and resources for public works is dependent on these processes
  • Understand how federal, state, and local governments work together to provide public works services

logo Course Description

Budgeting in public sector organizations occurs in a very public environment which is sometimes plagued by political overtones and myopic thinking. Simply said, the budget process, is the planned acquisition and allocation of an organization’s financial, human and capital resources. The fact that these resources are limited is a major challenge to those policy makers and managers who work to allocate them optimally. Striking a balance between the effective and efficient delivery of responsive services and the long term development and preservation of the organization’s economic base is indeed a difficult task. Add to that the influence of societal values and political powers, and the road to a final course of action can be very rough, with many potholes along the way.

Objectives: At the completion of this module participants will be able to:

  • Understand the types of budgets and their relationship
  • List the stages of a budget cycle and activities involved
  • Discuss techniques associated with forecasting budget amounts
  • Identify the purpose of a purchasing management system
  • Discuss concepts and terms  associated with inventory and asset management
  • Understand the advantages and disadvantages of purchasing through contracts of other agencies

logoCourse Description

This course delves into the concepts and practices that one needs to utilize when managing his/her agencies’ resources, namely:

  • Strategic Planning,
  • Creative Decision Making,
  • Budgeting, Purchasing & Contracting,
  • Consultant Management,
  • Project Administration, and
  • “Making it Work” (combining these) for your particular circumstances.

Objectives: Upon completion of this module, participants will be able to:

  • Recognize the need for planning,
  • Develop a strategic plan,
  • Set goals and look at alternatives,
  • Create and modify practices,
  • Involve employees and
  • Better understand budgeting and contracting concepts.

logoCourse Description

 This course examines most aspects of the operational and maintenance tasks of local transportation departments and the typical interactions of each, both with the public and often with one another.  Traffic management and control, maintenance of roadways and streets, gravel, culverts and snow and ice control and removal are among the topics that are covered.  Work zone safety, water and waste water treatment, park and cemetery operations and the tasks of controlling storm water runoff and the management of an agencies facilities and structures round out this course overview.   By learning some the management issues and solutions in these various areas involved in public works, you, as a new manager, will better be able to handle situations with the public and your employees as they arise.  Let’s begin.

Objectives: Upon completion of this module, participants will be able to:

  • Understand common public works vocabulary.
  • Explain basic management elements of public works operations. 
  • Understand the scope of public works activities.
  • Identify major federal regulations and guidelines affectingvarious components of public works.


logoCourse Description

The substance of management is working with people. The skills covered in this section are the responsibilities of a manager. Having the skills necessary to plan, organize, staff, direct, coordinate and report on the activities of a public works department, which will be discussed here, does not assure that one can motivate and get the most from your employees. Those human interaction skills that can make a good manager great are covered in the Team Development module.

Objectives: At the completion of this module participants will be able to:

  • Understand basic management skills
  • Discern the difference between city, county and state level organizational structures
  • Create action plans for their agency
  • Recognize the different roles of line and staff managers
  • Keep records that are useful, up-to-date and readily available
  • Apply time management techniques to their own busy schedules

logoCourse Description

Objectives: Upon completion of this module, participants will be able to:

  • Identify key points in your department's emergency plan.
  • Understand the importance of municipal and area wide plans
  • Exercise good judgment involving your participation in training exercises
  • Understand the planning, training and fincancial assistance that is available from Homeland SEcurity & FEMA.
  • Gain insight from other agencies experiences with floods, windstorms & snow and ice disasters.

logoCourse Description

This course provides an excellent form of instruction for the beginning project manager with training on the identifiable fundamentals of planning, developing and managing a construction project. Emphasis on the process is provided by the examination of an actual bridge project example that utilized most every conceivable step possible. A thorough review of construction inspection fundamentals and the tools needed to effectively perform those duties is provided. Preparation for a clean project close out at audit time begins at the time of letting with the clear and concise plans, notes and specifications. Using proper forms and methods for item note keeping, a diary, and specific quantities from the start of and throughout a project can insure a successful audit (and full reimbursement) at completion.

Actual case studies of two major projects (a multi-year highway/bridge construction and a complete street reversion) involved all these principles but also included many difficult (and trying) challenges. The circumstances provided by these examples provide both enlightenment and education to even those experienced inspectors and project managers, while again emphasizing the importance of the basics discussed earlier.

Utilization of an asset management system by a city is described and explained as a management tool used to differentiate the need for management of both maintenance and construction work. Using this type of planning/management tool allows an agency to be able to conduct the most efficient and effective combinations to meet an their budget and/or condition goals.

Objectives: Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Identify key components of managing parts of (or all) of projects
  • Know where to find forms and get assistance for accurate records
  • Recognize that challenges are inevitable and must be taken care of and recorded as provided in the specifications, using the engineer’s judgment.

logoCourse Description

This course identifies several components needed for effective planning for and management of snow and ice events by typical local and state agencies. Often deemed most critical to the process, the making (or obtaining) of both long and short term forecasts that are as accurate as possible is necessary for a planning platform on which to build. The factors involved in those predictions by the Iowa Department of Transportation, (DOT) staff will be explained to provide some of the tools that agencies might use to “fine tune” public broadcast information for their particular geographic areas. In addition, a review is included of DOT forecasts (that are currently provided to everyone by specific regions) may be found and how to use them.

Policy and planning decisions made by public agencies affect not only their needed resources to accomplish the goals they set, but also can strongly affect that agency’s finances, especially in times of extreme weather events or seasons. Likewise, an agency’s use of chemicals and abrasives can be looked at from several vantage points; these policies and procedures must be combined with snow and ice fighting techniques to produce a final result which is both environmentally and economically sound and is also socially acceptable. Typical plans of a city, county and the DOT will be reviewed to provide an overview of the many combinations that are available. Obviously, we are not in a static system, neither in terms of our weather patterns nor the equipment we use to battle Mother Nature and keep our roads and streets safe. An update of many new types of equipment will be presented and areas of ongoing research and trials will be reviewed on a national perspective.

logo course15 Course Description

This course focus is related to planning appropriately for the future of a public works agency.  The objective is to provide information to the participant that helps in the areas of policy development and application, the use of data, working with other agencies, internal professional development, and the evaluation of sustainability programs.  More specifically, the participant will hear about sustainability basics, policy and implementation, building collaborative partnerships, data driven decision-making, succession planning, and the Envision rating system.