The American Public Works Association (APWA) announced its decision to cancel Public Works Expo (PWX) 2020 scheduled for Aug. 31–Sept. 2, 2020 in New Orleans, La. After very careful consideration, APWA’s board of directors unanimously decided to cancel PWX 2020. Over recent weeks, APWA has been closely monitoring data related to the spread of COVID-19, and its impact on public works, essential services, and personnel.
“It is with great disappointment that we must announce that PWX 2020 will be canceled,” said APWA’s CEO Scott D. Grayson, CAE. “Ultimately, the decision came down to protecting the health and safety of APWA’s membership, and that of the APWA staff. While we believe this is the best conference in the world, no conference is worth putting people at potential health risk.”
Presently the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, where PWX is scheduled to be held, is closed to the public and is being used as a field hospital for COVID-19 patients. Further, on April 15, the Office of the Mayor of New Orleans extended its Stay at Home order until May 16.
Each year, PWX brings together more than 5,000 public works professionals from across North America and beyond, for education opportunities, training, and camaraderie.
“We want to extend our gratitude and appreciation for the hard work that the PWX host committee and the Louisiana and Mississippi chapters have put into what would have been the best PWX yet,” said APWA president Bill Spearman. “We know it is disappointing to plan for so long and to cancel our great get together, which is an event APWA members, leadership, and staff look forward to all year long, is difficult to accept.”
In order to ensure APWA’s members will continue to have access to great educational experiences, APWA is planning to create an online conference to take place later this summer. More information about the new virtual event will be made available in the coming weeks.
“We know this is a very unusual time, but we will get through this together. We want you to know that your APWA family is here for you and will continue to provide you with valuable resources and experiences that will help you in advancing your career and to do your jobs,” said Spearman and CEO Grayson in their statement released to APWA membership.
For more information about APWA, please contact APWA Public Affairs Manager Charlie Arena at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at (202) 218-6736.