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City of Springfield departments have gained accreditation for going above and beyond in public works. Only four other cities in the state have also received accreditation from the same organization. KSMU’s Kaitlyn Schwers has more on what this means for Springfield.
Springfield’s Departments of Public Works and Environmental Services each received accreditation from the American Public Works Association (APWA). APWA is a nonprofit that aims to improve infrastructure and public works management in North America.
Jonathan Gano, assistant director in public works for Springfield, says the city has been working toward receiving accreditation since 2008.
“It means that the departments of public works and environmental services for the City of Springfield have proven to an outside, independent accrediting body that we have established a record of performance and can substantiate that with adequate documentation that we perform all of the functions of a well-managed department of public works,” Gano said.
Peter King, executive director of the APWA, says that cities must go through an intensive process when they apply.
“It sets the standard for the city’s department to say, ‘Look, we have looked at the national best management practices, and we comply with all of those in order to meet the requirements to be accredited,’” he said.
While in the process of gaining recognition from the APWA, Gano says it made Springfield evaluate itself on practices and efficiency.
“One of the benefits of accreditation is that it required us to deeply investigate what we do, how we do it, and who is doing it to make sure we are using our resources effectively and efficiently. It’s given us better ways to improve existing practices, enhance our performance, increase productivity, and ultimately strengthen employment realm,” he explained.
Springfield is now among five cities in Missouri with APWA accreditation, including Belton, Columbia, Grain Valley, and Lee’s Summit. Overall, there are 86 agencies in the U.S. and Canada who have been accredited.
“Springfield should be very proud of the fact that they are one of less than 100 in the United States and Canada that have gone through that process and actually achieved the accreditation,” King said.
King also says that agencies must go through a renewal process every four years to keep accreditation.
Visit apwa.net to view a list of agencies who have received accreditation or who are working toward it.
For KSMU News, I’m Kaitlyn Schwers.