Over 1,600 members of the highway construction industry logged out of Zoom and ditched their laptops to participate in the largest event of its kind in Pennsylvania the week before Thanksgiving. Contractors, engineers, inspectors, suppliers, and clients once again gathered at the Hershey Lodge to network, learn, share ideas, and strengthen relationships at the 2021 APC/PennDOT/PA Turnpike Commission Fall Seminar.
The event most commonly and simply referred to by attendees as “APC”, offered the expertise of over 60 speakers during the course of three days including veteran astronaut Mike Massimino’s out-of-this-world keynote speech that helped to kick the event in to high gear on Thursday morning. Massimino’s down-to-earth demeaner and his motivational story about determination, failure and ultimate success resonated particularly well as we emerge from the challenges presented by a global pandemic.
Remarks from PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian and PA Turnpike Commission CEO Mark Compton concluded the Opening General Session and attendees proceeded to enjoy lunch and an afternoon filled with variety of workshops organized by a new track structure.
Attendees had the chance to meet with about 160 exhibitors during receptions, lunch and workshop breaks and networking opportunities were abundant. Fresh menus, more choices and extended exhibit hall times were well received and despite widespread staffing challenges in the hospitality industry, the Hershey Lodge didn’t miss a beat.
Nowhere was it more apparent that the industry missed being together in-person than the Informal Interaction followed by the very well-attended Hospitality Suite on Thursday night.
Friday’s Closing Session provided informative project reviews and wrapped up with the always eagerly awaited PA Turnpike Commission Capital Plan and PennDOT Program Forecast for next year. PennDOT Acting Deputy Secretary for Highway Administration Mike Keiser was pleased to announce that the projected 2022 PennDOT letting program would jump to $2.5 Billion.
APC is grateful for all who attended and the Annual Partners, Sponsors and Exhibitors that made this year’s event a success. We look forward to gathering in Hershey again next year on November 16-18, 2022.