Public Works Officers Institute

March 19-21, 2025

Sheraton Universal Hotel

333 Universal Hollywood Dr, Universal City, CA

Designed for public works professionals of all career levels, this conference provides you with the essential information and updates necessary to most effectively run city public works departments. Previous sessions cover a variety of topics such as road safety, bridge programs, legislative updates, and leadership topics.

Save the date for the next institute on March 19-21, 2025 at the Sheraton Universal Hotel in Universal City.

For additional questions, please contact Associate Manager, Event Programming, Erin Wylder

Please see our event and meeting policies.


Call for Proposals

The League of California Cities is soliciting session proposals for the 2025 Public Works Officers Institute being held March 19-21, 2025, in Universal City. We encourage you to take advantage of this exciting opportunity to share your ideas, knowledge, and expertise with this important audience!

The call for proposals for the 2025 Public Works Officers Institute is open through August 9, 2024.

Submit your proposal!

For questions, please contact Erin Wylder

General Information

Who Can Submit

Submissions are welcome from any individual, group, business or organization through August 9, 2024. If selected, please remember that all sessions require a well-conceived presentation, good visuals, and a great deal of rehearsal!

How It Works

Only proposals submitted online through the proposal form will be considered. Please be advised that the character limit is 7,000. 

Target Audience

This educational event is designed to keep public works officials up to date on issues of importance to them and their cities.

All About Proposals

Securing a spot on the program is highly competitive, with approximately 25 percent of proposals being accepted. You can increase your chances by preparing a thorough, thoughtful, and complete proposal that tells how your session would help public works officers and those who work within city governments to improve their careers and communities. When preparing your proposal consider the following elements:

  • Is the topic new and/or critical for city government?
  • Will it draw a wide audience?Will this issue stimulate action and further important discussion?
  • Will this issue stimulate action and further important discussion?
  • Does the panel reflect the diversity of California cities (north/south, large/small, urban/rural)?

Tips for Successful Proposals

  • Think big
  • Vary the viewpoint
  • Pare down the panel
  • Speaker skills matter
  • Plan for a crowd
  • Try something new
  • Interact with the audience
  • Fill in the blanks
  • Quality counts

Types of Proposals

More than 95 percent of each year's conference programming comes directly from the open call for proposals. Sessions may be scheduled as a general session or concurrent session at Cal Cities' discretion. Select one of the available formats listed below that best fits your topic and desired outcomes or propose an alternative session format.

  • Keynote Speaker
    This format permits approximately 45-60 minutes of an engaging presentation by a single speaker. Depending on time restrictions, the presentation may be followed by approximately 15 minutes of questions and answers with the audience or a moderator.
  • Panel Discussion
    Panels consist of a moderator and a maximum of three speakers who participate in a 60-minute engaging presentation and discussion followed by approximately 15 minutes of questions and answers.
  • Speed Sessions
    FFifteen-minute bursts of information on one topic by one speaker followed by five minutes of questions and answers. Typically, these engaging presentations are based on focused projects or personal experience.
  • Facilitated Discussion
    An interactive conversation with attendees on the selected topic. A facilitator may offer a maximum of a 10-minute presentation on which the issue/concern is framed for the attendees and then guide the discussion with prepared questions. At the conclusion of the discussion, the facilitator will spend some time summarizing key findings, suggestions, and points. In total, this session is scheduled for 75 minutes.
  • Alternative Format
    Be creative! If your session does not fit one of the above formats, this is your opportunity to propose something different. Please be sure to provide the time, room setup, and other important details. Alternative formats will be accommodated based on interest level, space, and set-up availability.
Requirements, Review, and Policies 

Submission Requirements and Review

Submissions will be reviewed by a program planning committee.
Cal Cities reserves the right to modify accepted proposal session titles, descriptions, presenters or other elements as necessary to insure balance, quality and enhance marketability. If an originally accepted speaker cancels, the session may be disqualified. Additional speakers not included in the original proposal are not permitted to be added without review and approval.

Successful Proposal Considerations

The following criteria may be considered during the review of submissions:

  • Relevance - What are the practical applications of your ideas? Have you included reasoning and documentation to support your conclusions, recommendations and outcomes? Conference attendees prefer presentations focused on outcomes or results. Make the definition and background portions of your presentation brief. Highlight problems encountered, options available, choices made, documented pre- and post-change effects and lessons learned.
  • Content expands attendees' knowledge - Will your presentation expand knowledge beyond entry-level basics? Most conference participants are elected officials, appointed officials, and seasoned professionals. In general, direct your presentation to an intermediate or advanced audience.
  • Originality - Does your presentation advance existing ideas or present new ideas? Has this material been presented elsewhere? You might apply proven techniques to new problems or identify and apply new approaches, techniques or philosophies. Assess the degree to which an application is a new tool. Avoid highlighting a named product or service…focus instead on the general attributes, benefits and drawbacks of a given application, process or tool.
  • Examples - Do you have an appropriate number of examples? Documenting comparative results convinces participants that your ideas have been tested in the real world.
  • Timeliness - Will your presentation still be up-to-date and cutting-edge in six to nine months when the conference occurs? Will your topic have implications in the future? How relevant is your topic in the context of pending legislation, regulations and technology?
  • Inclusion of good, solid insights - What attendees want to learn is the reality versus the hype, the positive and negative attributes, problems encountered but not often discussed, realistic expectations for the operational use and adaptability to a changing environment. They are searching for guidelines and models to simplify or manage their own application or installation.
  • Logical conclusions - Are your conclusions supported by data? Attendees place a high value on supporting data in assessing the value and applicability of presentations. Include adequate and convincing details.
  • Identification of outside resources - Have you included sources of information, benchmark data or other examples?
  • Avoidance of product/vendor commercial - No commercials and/or proprietary information for particular products, services or vendors are permitted.
  • Completeness of proposal - The quality, completeness and accuracy of the proposal will be considered during session selection process.
  • Preferred Speaker Qualifications - Panelists should reflect the diversity of California with a north/south, large/small, urban/rural representation when possible.
    • Five or more years of public presentation experience.
    • Two or more years of experience related to working in or presenting on the topic or idea.
    • More than two successful speaking engagements to large audiences at a regional or state level in the past two years.
    • Must not pose a conflict of interest with subject/business area or must disclose such information in each speaker bio submitted.
    • No commercialism.

To ensure a variety of perspectives, Cal Cities policy limits the number of times an individual, group, business or organization can speak at a single conference. In addition, each panel should have no more than one panelist per city/county, firm, company or organization (exceptions may apply).

  • Overall - In the end, you must make your case for the importance of this topic and its relevance to participants.

Registration and Speaker Policy

The League of California Cities is unable to provide full complimentary registration or any reimbursement of expenses, travel, or other compensation. We recognize and deeply appreciate your interest and commitment. The success of our program depends on the efforts of practicing professionals willing to volunteer their time to professional education. If selected, speakers receive complimentary one day registration or 30% off full conference registration.


Institute Information

Explore Previous Institutes

View the 2024 Public Works Officers Institute program.

2024 Institute Session Materials


Previous Institute Session Materials

    2023 Session Materials
        2022 Session Materials