Kansas City, Mo. — After more than 120 years, the American Public Works Association (APWA) is re-branding its annual conference as PWX, or Public Works Expo, replacing the former conference known as the International Public Works Congress & Exposition. The PWX 2016 will provide new inclusive learning experiences for thousands of public works professionals who will converge at the Minneapolis Convention Center August 28-31, 2016.  The PWX will include new innovations and technologies, as well as new networking opportunities as part of the learning experience for all generations and all levels of public works professionals. This year, more than 5,000 professionals are expected to attend the event. 

“APWA’s PWX will provide new learning concepts to help prepare attendees for the future in their communities. Several of the new sessions include Lightning Rounds, fast-paced, concise presentations on the hottest topics; Innovation Station, an all new multi-purpose common area, the Hub, at PWX located in Registration, and Tech Time, informal sessions for attendees to catch up on new tools and resources that add to productivity in the workplace,” said APWA Executive Director, Scott D. Grayson.

Another new feature, the Fleet Workshop, will provide a full day of challenges and solutions for public fleet managers and includes the Monday general sessions with Jeff Havens, two hours on the Exhibit Floor, and presentations and several discussions on Top Ten Performance Measures for 21st Century Fleet Management, What to Look for in a Fleet Management System, Attracting Fleet Managers and Technicians to Replace Retiring Staff, Insourcing and partnership opportunities, and Replacement Funding. Other new concepts include the APWA Connect Live! in the APWA presence on the Exhibit Floor that will provide attendees with an environment to meet public works experts and network with peers.

“Expanded technology at PWX will include wifi throughout the Convention Center to stay connected, and an easy-to-use Event App that includes new features, such as social sharing via the APWA Events Activity feed, to enhance the overall experience. Another new feature is Live Streaming for those participants who cannot travel to the event, which will include one education experience during each concurrent timeslot, and can be viewed at your desk in live stream sessions. Also, there will be more than 90,000 square feet of Exhibit space to explore, so there is something for every public works professional,” Grayson said.

The PWX 2016 Keynote speakers include:

Sunday August 28th:  Captain Scott Kelly — 10:00 a.m. to 12 Noon — Back from his historic record-breaking year In space, NASA astronaut Captain Scott Kelly has laid the groundwork for the future of space travel and exploration. From the cover of TIME magazine, features in Forbes, and appearances on TODAY and CNN, and a Twitter following well over 1 million, the world remains in awe of the hero’s return to the planet we call home. Attendees will hear Captain Kelly's extraordinary adventure first-hand as he keeps you on the edge of your seat during this truly one-of-a-kind experience. Filled with life lessons and personal stories that reveal unique and valuable advice on pushing one’s limits, insight on the leadership and teamwork required in such demanding conditions, and the challenges — such as long term deprivation from loved ones and Planet Earth — Kelly reflects on the choices and life events that paved his journey’s path.

Monday, August 29th: Jeff Havens — 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. — Jeff Havens insists that education is the only way that we improve at anything and that we’ll all improve better and faster if we enjoy the learning process. His mission is to demonstrate how small changes in our communication strategies can be the most important (and least expensive) way to strengthen relationships, increase loyalty, and create an unbreakable culture of teamwork and mutual respect. His presentation of “Uncrapify Your Life” is guaranteed to leave you refreshed. 

Tuesday, August 30th: Mel Robbins — 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m — Three million people have learned the secret to reaching their true potential. You are meant to do extraordinary things in your career and your life and the “5 Second Rule” will help you achieve it. Mel Robbins’ TEDx Talk on “How to Stop Screwing Yourself Over” has over 3 million views. In it, she demystifies neuroscience research to explain how and why you do what you do. Mel will teach you how to identify the mistakes you are making and how to create lasting behavior change within yourself.

Mel began her career as a criminal defense attorney and went on to launch and sell a retail and internet technology company. From these experiences, she has gone on to be one of CNN’s most popular on-air commentators and opinion writers on human behavior. The lessons and tools you’ll learn from Mel can be applied immediately and you will leave feeling inspired and equipped to tackle your professional and personal dreams.

Wednesday, August 31st:  Charles Marohn — 11:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. — Charles (Chuck) Marohn is founder and president of Strong Towns, which is a national media nonprofit that publishes award-winning daily articles by dozens of contributors, hosts events across the continent and shares insight and ideas through weekly podcasts. The Strong Towns approach is a fundamental rethinking of how we work together to build lasting wealth and prosperity within our communities. Its mission is “to support a model of development that allows America’s cities, towns, and neighborhoods to become financially strong and resilient. The Strong Town Principles include that strong cities, towns, and neighborhoods cannot happen without strong citizens (people who care); local government is a platform for strong citizens to collaboratively build a prosperous place; financial solvency is a prerequisite for long term prosperity, and land is the base resource from which community prosperity is built and sustained, and must not be squandered.

PWX highlights

Other PWX highlights include:

  • Public Works Stormwater Summit that APWA's Water Resources Management Committee has planned in a program featuring the latest approaches for stormwater planning and management in North America;
  • Public Works Directors’ Roundtable;
  • C4S Roundtable;
  • Self-Assessment Using the 8th edition Public Works Practices Manual workshop; and
  • several Wednesday Workshop/Tours, including Full Circle Organic Facility Compost Tour and Multimodal Transportation Systems Serving the Mall of America, St. Croix Crossing Project & 3M Innovation Center, and Union Depot and Metro Green Line LRT Tour, and the Metropolitan Wastewater Treatment Plant, in St. Paul, and the Minneapolis Bicycle Facilities and U.S. Bank Stadium.

Details about sessions and speakers can be found on the APWA website at: www.apwa.net.