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Over the last few months, I’ve told you about the Infrastructure Imperative Conference we’re hosting in Cleveland this November, our first such event. It offers 10 professional development hours (PDHs), but we’re not getting as many registrations as we’d like. That’s not too unusual for a completely new event aimed at Public Works readers, who have limited time and more-limited professional development budgets.

In my 12 years as Public Works editor, I’ve never regretted attending a conference on any sector our readers serve, and I’m very excited about our program and speakers including American Society of Civil Engineers Executive Director Thomas W. Smith III. A couple weeks ago, I wrote about how technology will impact operations and maintenance budgets by enabling fewer employees to maintain service levels. Our conference builds on that theme by exploring how other fields are using new tools (blockchains, anyone?) to deliver better solutions with fewer change orders and less risk. Anyone involved in the process (hello, contractors and consultants!) will learn something that will stretch the taxpayer’s dollar further. A construction attorney in California explains how to optimize alternative delivery contracts like design-build. Associated General Contractors of America’s senior counsel is watching how the Trump administration wants to change environmental permitting. We’ve got an FMI Corp. jobsite productivity expert and a Kiewit Engineering Group engineer with expertise in 100-year-service life projects. (Here’s more on speakers and schedule.)

And that’s just one of three sessions over the one-and-a-half day event. (It begins at 9 am on Wed., Nov. 14, and ends at noon the next day.) The fee for government employees is $449, but you can attend for FREE if you register in the next two weeks. Go to and use JOHNSTONVIP in the promo code box when you get to the payment page.

That’s an offer that you can’t (or shouldn’t) refuse. I hope to see you there!