Sarasota County earns American Public Works Association accreditation

It is only the sixth county in the state to achieve that mark of recognition

Image courtesy APWA

Sarasota County’s Public Works, Public Utilities and Capital Projects departments recently earned the American Public Works Association (APWA) accreditation, joining only 15 other public works agencies in Florida to obtain the same designation, the county has announced.

The APWA accreditation validates the county’s commitment to innovation, improvement,
“and meeting the needs of today while preparing for tomorrow,” a news release says. “The accreditation process ensured county standards were enhanced to meet the highest industry practices and aligned with each department’s performance measures,” the release adds.

“This is a significant accomplishment for Sarasota County and the staff who uphold their dedication to providing exceptional service,” said County Administrator Jonathan Lewis in the release. “By adopting new technologies, staff have provided our community with the knowledge, resources and technology to keep moving forward through the impacts of COVID-19,” Lewis added in the release. “Most importantly, earning the accreditation demonstrates the county’s desire to continually improve, learn and enhance our service.”

Sarasota County is the first county within the APWA Suncoast branch to achieve this accreditation, and the sixth within the state to do so, the release notes. The accreditation process, which was completed in 614 days, included “developing a visual suite of materials that APWA will incorporate into the accreditation tool kit moving forward.”

“The APWA accreditation program provides a platform for recognizing verified public works agencies for compliance with recommended practices,” the release explains. “The voluntary accreditation encourages self-improvement through performance, educational programs and community pride,” it adds.

The APWA includes personnel from local, county, state/province and federal agencies, as well as a number from the private sector; its worldwide membership is more than 30,000.

Almost 24,000 public works agencies altogether are in the United States and Canada, but only 159 worldwide have APWA accreditation, the release points out.