Local Governments Can Now Dig Into Free Public Works Training
In 2022, MRSC received funding from the state to launch the Digging Into Public Works project. This project provided training and technical assistance on public works contracting to local government staff throughout the year.
This year, the state budget included funding for MRSC to continue these efforts. I am excited to share that MRSC has developed new training in the second year of this project. This new series was created based on feedback received from attendees at regional training forums held around the state last year.
For this blog, I will provide an overview of 2023 training and what will be coming soon. The best part is that each of these training opportunities are available to local government attendees at no cost!
Happening Now: Public Works Fundamentals Training
MRSC is partnering with two state agencies, Labor & Industries (L&I) and the Department of Revenue (DOR), to provide a series of in-person regional forums across the state focused on the fundamental elements of public works contracting. This training is intended for local government public works staff that:
- Are new to public works contracting or
- Have a need to refresh and expand basic public works contracting knowledge.
The first session in this series took place September 28 in Spokane. Our Digging Into Public Works webpage lists all the locations where we will host upcoming forums, including Port Angeles in December and Tumwater in January 2024. Interested local government staff can visit this page to see which forums are open for registration. I am currently scheduled to present during these sessions, and if a fundamentals training seems to be a fit for you, I look forward to having you join me and my co-presenters, Chuck (L&I), and Kim (DOR), at one of these upcoming sessions!
Coming Soon: Agency-Specific Workshops & Webinars for Local Government Public Works Staff
MRSC is currently collaborating with multiple agency partners on development of agency specific in-person workshops and webinars focused on two new pieces of legislation that will greatly impact local governments:
- SB 5268, which modifies small works roster requirements, and
- HB 1050, which expands apprenticeship utilization to municipalities.
The first in-person workshop will be held on November 14 at L&I’s office in Tumwater. This workshop is a collaboration with L&I and the Association of Washington Cites (AWC), and will focus on how cities can update their processes to stay in compliance with the new legislation. City staff and city elected officials interested in signing up for this session can register via the AWC website.
In addition, a webinar will be hosted and facilitated by MRSC in November with Washington APEX Accelerator, formerly PTAC. This session will allow Washington APEX Accelerator to share what tools/resources the agency can provide to local governments seeking assistance in finding bidders for public works projects.
MRSC will continue to update the Digging Into Public Works training schedule and posting it to the webpage. This page also provides links to all of the existing public works contracting resources generated through this project, including three downloadable publications and recording links from prior webinars. We also maintain many webpages that local governments regularly consult for Purchasing and Contracting issues.
For local government staff, I encourage you to share the Digging Into Public Works webpage with any team members interested in public works training. And, while over 600 public agencies have already become members of MRSC Rosters, if your agency in not a member, now is a great time to consider joining, especially since we launched a new electronic bidding service in 2023.
MRSC is a private nonprofit organization serving local governments in Washington State. Eligible government agencies in Washington State may use our free, one-on-one Ask MRSC service to get answers to legal, policy, or financial questions.