An Inside Look at APWA PWX 2018

By Lauren Fields

We saw the power of public works at APWA PWX 2018! This year’s event was held in Kansas City, MO, and offered multiple sessions on a variety of hot topics in public works. Our team took full advantage of the opportunities to meet with industry leaders and discuss innovative solutions and technology. We brought home so many fresh insights and memorable moments that we wanted to offer you this inside look at the event.

One thing was clear: Public service pros are increasingly being asked to do more with less. APWA attendees wrote down the biggest challenges currently facing their agencies. There was a wide range of responses, but the number one challenge that kept appearing on the list is recruiting qualified and talented employees. Other challenges include budgetary constraints versus enormous need, building the case for funds with key stakeholders and a lack of resources. We were excited to make new connections and provide solutions for these pressing needs.

Here are some of our favorite moments from PWX:

Attending the Awards & Recognition Ceremony

Public service professionals are unsung heroes in our communities, and it was wonderful to see so many honored for their hard work and dedication. One award was particularly exciting – our client, The County of Monterey, CA, received the prestigious APWA Public Works Project of the Year for their emergency response and reconstruction to Elk Horn Road. You can hear more about this project by watching this short video.

The County of Monterey, CA, received the prestigious APWA Public Works Project of the Year.
Members of the project team accept the 2018 APWA Public Works Project of the Year in the Disaster or Emergency Construction/Repair, less than $5 Million category.

Discovering innovative solutions in the New Product Showcase

The Expo Hall was filled with hundreds of vendors from every facet of the industry. Faced with the pressures of solving complex issues while maximizing taxpayer dollars, it’s no wonder why attendees spent hours speaking with vendors and exploring new solutions. The New Product Showcase section of the Expo Hall highlighted some of the industry’s newest and most exciting innovations.

Our own Allan Bacon, Director of Strategic Partnerships and Resellers, presented “Optimize Your Construction Project Resources and Cost Estimation Utilizing Cost Map, Powered by RSMeans data from Gordian” in the New Product Theater. Cost Map is a web-based solution that integrates RSMeans data from Gordian with Esri’s ArcGIS platform. For the first time ever, public utilities are able to visualize infrastructure costs on a map, allowing users to optimize project resources and create accurate estimates in a few clicks.

Allan Bacon presenting at APWA's New Product Showcase.
Allan Bacon showcasing new technology from Gordian and GISinc.

Making new connections and memories

APWA PWX offered several opportunities to connect with peers both inside and outside the convention center.

Building new relationships at Gordian's APWA booth

We enjoyed three full days of meaningful conversations in our booth. It was fascinating to hear how agencies across the nation are employing different tactics and solutions to improve their communities.

Helping save lives at the Red Cross Blood Drive and participating in the PWX2018 5K Fun Run.

While everyone attended PWX to learn, connect and have fun, the commitment to serve others never stopped. The American Red Cross held a blood drive in the Expo Hall, and we were proud to participate and make a life-saving difference.

We also woke up early for the PWX 5K Fun Run & Walk at the beautiful Berkely Riverfront Park. It was a great (sweaty) way to see more of the city and work off all that Kansas City BBQ!

APWA asks attendees why they chose a career in public works.

APWA asked attendees, “Why did you choose public works as a career?” Their answers show their commitment to the industry and their communities. Here are a few of the reasons why APWA attendees chose a career in public works:

  • “To improve the community I serve.”
  • “To help society.”
  • “Because I care about serving people.”
  • “I’m a third-generation public works employee. Retired 36.5 years from North Carolina. Loved every year!”
  • “It chose me! (And I’m thankful!)”

We’re thankful to APWA for hosting this engaging event and are looking forward to continuing to nurture the connections we made. We hope to see you next year!