Now that the 100th Annual AGC Convention in Denver has officially wrapped, it’s safe to say it was a hit.

This year’s lineup boasted inspirational keynotes from speakers like Scott Harrison, Vernice Armour, and Howard Kurtz, along with actionable sessions from top construction industry leaders. While we can’t possibly cover it all in a single blog post, here are four major takeaways from the best AGC event yet.

1. We need to invest in the next generation of talent

Today’s educational system almost exclusively focuses on college readiness. But with 22% of existing skilled craftsmen retiring in the next four years, more and more people are asking: is college truly the right path for everyone — especially when there are plenty of great (and lucrative) options in trade work?

This year’s speakers argued that we need to be providing clear paths to the next generation of construction talent beginning in high school. That point was emphasized by the enormous number of scholarship recipients present at the conference, along with the impressive amount of donations raised for the AGC Foundation.

2. It’s time to close the gap between technology strategy and adoption

Our friends at PlanGrid led a panel session on Wednesday all about technology adoption. Their main argument? Equipping construction teams with mobile access to project data is no longer a “nice to have,” but a critical business priority. While construction leaders have begun to purchase technology with these needs in mind, the severity of costs associated with poor data and miscommunication on the job site continues to be overlooked.

That’s why it’s crucial to have a thoughtful adoption strategy. To help make the concept more concrete, panelists from DPR Construction, Webcor Builders, and ISEC, Inc. revealed how their companies bridge their technology strategy with actual adoption to get the most productivity out of the field.

3. Government regulation continues to be deeply woven into our industry

Several sessions throughout the conference focused on how the government influences the construction industry at large, including:

• Federal OSHA regulations and policy updates
• Collaboration on critical infrastructure projects
• Opportunities and challenges after the Jobs Act
• Trade wars and material price escalation

The key takeaway here? Regardless of your politics, it’s crucial to stay up-to-date on legislation that will affect the way we do work and get ahead of big regulation changes.

4. Job site safety remains a top priority for companies

According to a study published by NIOSH, one out of every four construction fatalities is due to traumatic brain injury (TBIs). With these statistics and living through life-changing incidents, both Clark Construction and Skanksa have moved away from the traditional 4-point suspension hard hat to a helmet to protect their employees — a story they shared in one of Tuesday’s morning sessions.

The topic sparked a ton of debate among conference attendees, many of whom argued that the safety helmet, though newer and more technologically advanced, isn’t necessarily a better choice than the traditional hard hat. You can follow one of the debate threads on LinkedIn here.

Thanks so much to everyone who stopped by our booth!

We met so many talented construction professionals in Denver, and we hope you all had as great of a time at the conference as we did! We’re blown away by the caliber of speakers, sponsors, and attendees AGC gathered, and we can’t thank them enough for making this year’s event possible.

If you’d like to schedule a personalized demo of our platform or learn more about how BuildingConnected is transforming preconstruction, get in touch!

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