Public Works

We’re passionate about public service

It’s why we guide governmental, educational and non-profit agencies towards strategically
and effectively fulfilling their mission. Just like the agencies we consult; we believe that the public sector improves lives and communities for the better. And quite simply, that’s why we do what we do. As a high-level public policy and management consulting firm, we’re partners with the public sector in “making good ideas work for the better.”

272 Million in Cost-Cutting Options to Avert Layoffs in Chicago

With the City of Chicago suffering—like most jurisdictions—from a severe COVID-related budget shortfall, Public Works was brought back for the third time in ten years to find savings and efficiencies to close the gap.
Our plan was praised in the media and helped lead to a resolution of the impasse without loss of jobs.

Dubuque’s Equitable Poverty Prevention Plan

We spent a year helping the City of Dubuque, Iowa, to develop an Equitable Poverty Prevention Plan publicly unveiled and adopted in January 2021.
It is a model for how to get transportation, housing, education, job training, social services, businesses, and foundations all working together to improve families’ quality of life.

City of Dubuque
Using Data to Help Des Moines Identify and Reduce Racial Bias

Using Data to Help Des Moines Identify and Reduce Racial Bias

The City of Des Moines, Iowa, retained Public Works to study best-practices in data collection and analysis of policing, as well as housing code enforcement, practices nationwide. We produced two reports, totaling over 300 pages, on the current and ideal states of data collection and steps the City could take to move to data-informed law and code enforcement decision-making.

COVID Recovery and Social Justice in Community College

Public Works was retained to help Metropolitan Community College of Kansas City – one of the nation’s first community colleges and the first voluntarily to integrate – to launch a Social Justice Center to help underrepresented student populations
rebound from the impact of COVID-19. Our lengthy report included detailed recommendations on student health and well-being, transitioning students back to a more normal campus-based experience, and addressing access to technology, as well
as long-term steps to lay the foundation for successful launch of an external-facing social justice focus with the next few years.

Designing a New School System for the Hopi Tribe

The Hopi Tribe asked us to help design a new school system for their K–12 village schools is perhaps the most isolated area of the continental United States. A big part of the assignment was helping the Hopi to find the right balance between preparing students to succeed in the challenges of a 21st Century world while at the same time preserving the distinctive Hopi values, culture, religion, and even language in the face of the very same challenges. This, of course, is in many ways the same problem facing rural communities across America.

Restructuring Community Input in Los Angeles County

Los Angeles County valued our prior work so much (see below) that we were retained again to reorganize the County’s community advisory bodies in criminal justice. We were tasked with streamlining a structure of nine largely uncoordinated boards and commissions while improving community input and interaction with County officials. We conducted extensive interviews of County staff and advisory board members; held a weeklong series of focus groups involving advocates, community members with lived experience of the justice system, and formerly incarcerated individuals; surveyed over 200 community members; and extensively researched our new proposed advisory structure.


Consultant tells Baltimore County How To Save Hundreds of Millions of Dollars.

You won’t often see a headline like that, but taxpayers in Baltimore County, Maryland, did recently when Public Works completed efficiency reviews of both the Baltimore County Government and Public Schools. Both reports were widely hailed produced recommendations reaching our by-now-standard savings of 5% in operating costs.

Efficiency Review of Virgin Islands “Core Agencies”

Public Works conducted a Core Business Process Review of the Government of the US Virgin Islands (GVI) four “core agencies” – management & budget, finance, procurement & procurement, and personnel. We conducted interviews
and focus groups with agency staff, in-person observation of agency processes, best-practice research & cross-jurisdiction benchmarking, identified all core business processes, developed current-state process maps and Key Performance Indicators, provided 60 detailed recommendations with  implementation plans, and presented them through a live Tollgate session with the Governor and top agency officials.

Los Angeles County Redesigns Welfare-to-Work

When one of the nation’s largest counties wanted to redesign the programs for its hardest-to-employ residents using Human-Centered Design, it hired Public Works. Our charge: cut the focus on meeting requirements; change the focus to getting people jobs. Our recommendations: change the County’s intake procedures, focus on a jobs-first strategy, but fund continuing training and education for all program participants even after they’re employed, and build on-going custom-tailored job-training programs in target industries like logistics.

United Way Suncoast Community-Engaged Strategic Plan

A five-county non-profit entity in the Tampa Bay region of Florida with a $35,000,000-budget that uses a collective impact approach in five diverse counties around Tampa Bay on Florida’s Gulf Coast. The process engaged Suncoast stakeholders and infused research-based information to establish the organization’s strategic priorities for the next three years. Over 800 individuals from the community responded to the community needs survey to bring insights from donors, community partners and volunteers across the Suncoast region.

Information from this survey, interviews, focus groups, an internal organization capacity assessment along with a full-day Board Retreat of 45 board members converged for an analysis of patterns and insights to equip United Way Suncoast in facing the challenges and opportunities ahead with a dynamic, community-engaged strategic plan.

What Is the Future of Health Care Jobs?

We worked with the nation’s largest health care union to study the future of health care and its implications for the workforce. Our final report conveys the research findings, analysis, proceedings, and recommendations of the Healthcare Technology Workgroup that includes a user-friendly explanation of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a forecast on job replacement, augmentation, and creation related to emerging technologies, and infographics on skills and training needs of future jobs.

Medical Staff

National School Boards Association Chooses Public Works to Create Nationwide School Efficiency Program

Due to our work with school districts across the country on improving efficiency and program effectiveness, the National School Boards Association has entered into an exclusive arrangement with Public Works to create the Elevated Solutions project, which will bring our expertise to NSBA’s 55,000 member districts.

With budgets growing tighter across the country and schools everywhere needing to reassess their educational programs for a new day, every school needs Elevated Solutions like those provided.

NSBA Elevated Solutions
NSBA Elevated Solutions