What We Do
Public Works makes the public sector hum: We improve outcomes. We save money. We produce results. And our clients pay only for performance.
We produce improved public outcomes at lower cost and reimagine the regulatory and human service systems that comprise the bulk of government operations at every level—from federal to state to local. By eliminating needless spending and streamlining processes, Public Works efficiency reviews consistently produce savings of 5% in general fund operations. Our comprehensive strategic planning approach revolves around three main concepts:
Proactive and preventive efforts, instead of reactive government programs.
Individualized, community-connected, evidence-based strategies that are more effective and less costly than institutional, one-size-fits-all approaches.
Move government programs into a more competitive dynamic.
Public Works is the leading firm in the country in conceptualizing these changes and implementing the strategies to realize them.
Our performance reviews have been hailed across the country for finding ways for states, county and city governments, universities and school districts to save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars while improving services.
Our budget plans have identified additional fiscal strategies for hard-pressed public-sector CEOs to bring spending commitments in line with revenues and balance budgets in an era of both increasing citizen demands and increasing taxpayer resistance.
Our innovative policy approaches to all areas of government service don’t only save money – they improve outcomes for real people: beneficiaries, students, patients, workers and the unemployed, business owners, former offenders, citizens, and taxpayers.
We serve as an ongoing policy office for elected and appointed public-sector chief executives at the local, state and national levels.
Most importantly, Public Works is focused on results and has a track record to prove it.
For every $1 spent on performance reviews, our clients have realized as much as $1,000
Public Works is a pioneer in high-level public policy and strategic planning for government CEOs in a consulting capacity. Not only are we hired for specific engagements to solve particular problems, we also serve as an ongoing policy office for elected and appointed public-sector chief executives at the local, state and national levels.
We bring to bear our nationwide and global involvement in cutting-edge policy across a wide range of areas, in working with administrations and agencies across the country at the state and local level. Our personnel have run government agencies and advised public officials in the real world and are backed by first-class researchers and subject-matter experts.
We respond to policy needs as they arise so that when the daily crises of governing consumes on-the-ground personnel, we continue with the forward-focused long-term work our clients need but, that all too often, falls by the wayside.
Our Team Is Experienced in:
Economic Development |Workforce Development |Education Reform & Policy | Health Care Reform & Coverage | Children’s & Family Services | Public Safety | Corrections | Public & Community Health |Energy & Environment |Regulatory Reinvention | Sustainability | Human Services | Performance Reviews | Technology & The Future of Work | Strategic Planning | Budget Analytics | Research |Labor Policy & Practice
Public Works offers governments a unique top-to-bottom approach to all the challenges currently facing the public sector. This starts with understanding the over-the-horizons events faced by Chief Elected Officials – the dramatic changes that governments will face over the next decade – and the ability to integrate that with the fast-emerging field of data analytics to give CEOs and their top managers hard, actionable, real-time, data-based recommendations to identify, reduce, and turn to their advantage impending financial, economic, policy, and organizational risks. It includes the ability to strategically plan to meet these proactively – and to implement comprehensive metrics to ensure performance in the future.
Our president Eric Schnurer is a recognized leader in this area, for several years teaching The Future of Government at the University of Chicago’s graduate public policy school; writing regularly on this subject for the Aspen Institute and publications ranging from The Atlantic to US News & World Report and Foreign Affairs; and speaking on it to national gatherings including the National Governors Association annual meeting and the annual policy conference on the nation’s Blue Cross/Blue Shield plans.
But we don’t just offer high-level, long-range forecasts and insights. We marry these with a sophisticated, data-driven, analytic structure with seasoned experience in the public sector.
Our approach addresses your organization’s needs down to the program development and service delivery level – especially the “human services,” broadly defined to encompass everything where governments act directly on individuals (as opposed to issuing rules and regulations) from health and social services to corrections to education to programs for the elderly, which comprise roughly two-thirds of public spending at all levels of government. Controlling these costs while improving their outcomes is the greatest challenge facing public managers today – and one in which we have extensive experience, including operational improvement to reduce the red ink and budgetary advising to put things in the black.
Our budget plans have identified additional fiscal strategies for hard-pressed public-sector CEOs to bring spending commitments in line with revenues and balance budgets in an era of both increasing citizen demands and increasing taxpayer resistance. We help agencies move from institutional, one-size-fits-all strategies in all areas of human service to individualized, community-connected, evidence-based solutions that are more effective and less costly.
For instance, we developed one of the most comprehensive and exhaustive studies of health and safety indicators undertaken anywhere in the country. This on-going program also established a method for relating budget priorities to the outcomes of child welfare programs, creating a nationwide model for cities, states, and jurisdictions to ensure the well-being of children through effective budget priorities. It also served as a model for prioritizing, tracking, controlling and re-channeling spending generally, to get the best results from expenditures and identify efficient and inefficient spending in terms of outcomes. That's why we helped to pioneer "measuring outcomes" in the complicated area of improving children's health, safety and well-being - and then tracking funding streams across agency lines and governmental levels to identify what's really being spent in total. This approach can be applied to every area of government spending, not just children's services – getting better outcomes even in an era of declining government income.
Our innovative policy approaches to all areas of government service don’t only save money – they improve outcomes for real people: beneficiaries, students, patients, workers and the unemployed, business owners, former offenders, and citizens.
We don't just propose good public policy - we help you actually accomplish it. Public Works enables public-sector and non-profit executives and decision-makers to achieve their objectives by solving problems, planning ahead, stretching dollars, saving money, and cutting through bureaucratic silos and divisions to make things happen.
We're also adept in assisting agencies to resolve conflicts. For example, the New Mexico Governor's Office had been unable for several years to resolve the challenge of "social transportation" - bus transit for seniors and the disabled - because the state's DOT consider it a social, not a transportation, issue and didn't want responsibility, while the aging, health and human services departments all saw it the other way around, as a matter of bus scheduling outside their expertise (and interest). So, the Governor's Office hired our team to resolve the issue. Why a consulting firm to resolve internal governmental challenges? Because getting agencies to work together "across silos" is difficult, time-consuming work - time that chief executives and their staffs, consumed by daily crises and major decisions, simply don't have. But Public Works staff have the skills, patience, and knowledge on how to facilitate problem-solving when resources and interests are challenged .
And that's what we've done time after time:
Bringing a range of agencies together to forge a comprehensive state health policy.
Coordinating a half-dozen agencies in developing and launching a career development program for students across the state.
Conceiving and guiding the construction of a state-of-the-art housing project for seniors displaced by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans East.
Making sure that the efficiencies and cost-savings we identified were actually implemented.
Helping to develop and implement California's Environmental Policy.