Hosted by the American Public Works Association (APWA), the 2022 Public Works Expo (PWX) kicked off in North Carolina yesterday. The conference is the largest gathering of public works organizations in the world, with hundreds of local, county, state, and federal agencies, as well as product and service providers, filling the halls of the Charlotte Convention Center. Outgoing APWA president Stan Brown expressed how proud he was of how the group’s members were agile and prepared during the COVID-19 pandemic. Later in the program, Brown and Amy McWhirter, who was the opening general session’s emcee, sat down on stage with Scott Grayson, CEO of APWA, to talk about the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). Grayson noted that APWA played a significant role in lobbying for the IIJA’s passage in 2021, and he warned members that labor shortage is a serious issue that must be addressed. “We need a lot more people to build infrastructure,” he said. When discussing the impact of the IIJA and the pandemic on the industry, Brown looked towards the future a warning of his own. “Whatever was normal before won’t be normal in the future,” he said. Brown’s tenure as APWA president ended with the introduction of the incoming president, Keith Pugh. A client success manager for Withers Ravenel in Asheville, North Carolina, Pugh emphasized the importance of community and helping others in his inaugural speech as APWA president. Stay tuned all week as we cover the 2022 PWX convention in Charlotte.