Ventura County Public Works Agency Highlights ‘The Power of Public Works’ at annual Public Works Week event on May 22

Educational event adds more interactive booths and hands-on demonstrations for over 600 students

Public works agencies play a vital role in assisting communities to prepare, respond and recover from disasters. The work of public works professionals is often done behind-the-scenes but serves to protect and enhance the safety, health and quality of life of our community.

To bring to light the important role Ventura County Public Works Agency (VCPWA) plays within Ventura County and to educate the public on the wide variety of services provided, VCPWA will be hosting its National Public Works Day.

This one-day, free community event will be held on Tuesday, May 22, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Ventura County Government Center. This year’s event will focus on emergency preparedness and response activities to events such as the Thomas Fire and winter storms.

Attendees will have the opportunity to visit a wide range of hands-on booths, all highlighting the diverse scope of work for VCPWA’s five departments. Tours will feature information on native and drought tolerant plants, surveying, traffic signal technology, composting with worms, its award-winning raptor program, and demonstrations of the latest technology employed by the agency. Along with the county’s activities, the City of Ventura’s public works team will be on-site to host two booths as well as a demonstration of the city’s pothole filler equipment.


The event will also contain several new interactive activities including:

  • An updated and enhanced Career Center – VCPWA and County HR teams will be on hand to share information about current career opportunities and the student worker program. VCPWA engineers and field staff will be on site sharing the many ways a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education could lead to career opportunities in public works. The cities of Oxnard and Ventura will also be joining the Career Center with information about their employment opportunities. Representatives from the American Society of Civil Engineers will be on site with career information.
  • Watershed Protection District – GIS/Technology: Will be showing how modern “Geographic Information System” technology has improved map making over time, how data is used to build digital maps and how it’s shared in the GIS community of County departments. Information in GIS maps can depict many features such as parcels, roads, streams, points of interest and much more. It can be assembled from records, gathered in real time, or even remotely acquired from remote weather stations (to derive current rainfall) or airborne (LiDAR to derive topography).  The maps can also be viewed on the internet and cell phones. 
  • Ventura County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services (OES) and VCPWA’s Storm Tracking Center will partner to create a simulation Emergency Operations Center where students will be given emergency scenarios to work out! They will also be taught the importance of a “go kit” and what to pack in case of an emergency.
  • Bicycle and Pedestrian Facilities: Learn about the work the Transportation Department conducts on county roads for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians that makes our community safer.
  • Traffic Detection Display and Demonstration: Displaying the latest technology utilized in detecting vehicle traffic in order for traffic signals to respond appropriately according to traffic flow. They will demonstrate how the technology can distinguish between vehicle, pedestrian and vehicle traffic to improve safety.
  • General Services Agency (GSA):  Fleet Services staff will demonstrate how a Chevrolet Tahoe is transformed from an ordinary SUV to a Sheriff pursuit vehicle.
  • Manhole Covers: Learn how VCPWA workers safely enter and exit a manhole using a tri-pod wench.

“National Public Works Week has been a very successful and important event to help us connect with our community,” said Ventura County Public Works Agency Director Jeff Pratt.  “It’s a great opportunity for us to educate and it will give 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.”

VCPWA’s NPWW event has grown tremendously since launching in 2012. In 2017, more than 700 were students out of the 1,000 attendees in attendance. VCPWA anticipates a similar turnout of youth, parents and teachers to participate at this year’s education event.

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