Connect Citizens with Their Local Government: Public Service Recognition Week

The 2010 event offers the perfect opportunity for you and your local government to celebrate and educate the public about what you do!

ARTICLE | Apr 29, 2010

The 26th annual celebration of Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW) takes place Monday through Sunday, May 3-9, 2010. 

First designated by the President and Congress in 1985, PSRW offers local governments an opportunity to “honor the men and women who serve our nation as federal, state, county, and local government employees.” PSRW is the perfect time for managers and their staffs to help increase public awareness of and appreciation for the contributions they make toward enhancing the quality of life in their communities. PSRW is co-organized by the Partnership for Public Service and the Public Employees Roundtable.

This year’s theme of Innovation and Opportunities, according to the PSRW Website, “gives citizens the chance to see the breadth of groundbreaking work being done in government (from renewable energy to tsunami warning systems), and to explore the many ways to make a difference by choosing careers in public service.”

Again this year, the highlight of PSRW will be a series of events on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., May 6-9. The events kick off on Thursday, May 6, with an opening rally and celebration. At that time, more than 100 government agencies and nonprofit organizations represented in tented booths will showcase a selection of their programs through interactive and educational exhibits and information on how citizens can make a difference through public service. This event routinely attracts more than 50,000 visitors, from federal workers to students and tourists.

Friday, May 7, is Students’ Day, when students of all ages can participate in fun-filled, educational activities, such as learning how to apply for student financial aid, observing deep sea divers from the U.S. Navy, and chatting with federal, state, and local government leaders. Saturday, May 8, focuses on Opportunities in Government, where “job seekers can learn first-hand about opportunities in medical and public health, international affairs, energy and environment, administration/program management, and security and compliance, plus get insider-tips on how to land a government job.”

Outside the Beltway, millions of other local, state, and federal employees across the country will celebrate PSRW through festivals, open houses, parades, special recruitment efforts, recognition celebrations, and educational outreach initiatives. Governors, mayors, and elected officials around the country will issue proclamations designating May 3-9 as Public Service Recognition Week.

How can cities, towns, and counties use PSRW to educate citizens about the value of local government and professional management? Begin thinking now about what your local government can do as part of the 2012 celebration! Here’s a sample of some low-cost ideas:

  • Have your mayor, board chairman, or other elected official develop a proclamation declaring May 3-9 as a time to recognize the good work performed by the employees in your organization.
  • Time an employee recognition or awards program to coincide with PSRW and use that opportunity to spotlight the work of the public employees within a single department or team or your entire organization
  • Run an ad in your local paper that publicly thanks employees for all their hard work, especially during these stressful economic times
  • Encourage the schools in your community to use PSRW as an opportunity to teach students about their local government, who works there, what they do, and how they do it. Volunteer to speak to students yourself and offer to bring/coordinate presentations and discussions with other local government employees. And don’t forget to use the week to promote careers in public service, specifically the local government management profession.

The 2010 PSRW Celebration Toolkit offers ideas your community can use to recognize this important week and a number of useful resources, including a “How to Celebrate PRSW” Guide, a teachers’ guide; a sample radio PSA; small, medium, large, and extra large PSRW logo downloads and posters; and a sample proclamation and language for mayors and governors.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to use this week-long celebration as an opportunity to educate citizens about the work that you do, why you’ve chosen that work, and what a career in public service means to you. Celebrate Public Service Recognition Week, May 3-9, 2010. Then plan to help your community understand the value of what you, your colleagues, and your staff do by coordinating a local government event in your community for 2010.





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