“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” – Abraham Lincoln.
At APEX2020, that’s exactly what a unified group of association, union millwright and contractor leaders accomplished: They sharpened their collective “axe” for the betterment of the Eastern District’s industrial industry.
Hosted by the Eastern Millwright Regional Council (EMRC) and the Northeast Millwrights Association (NEMA), the first-ever APEX Collaborative Millwright Contractors Conference was held for dozens of attendees recently in La Quinta, California.
“Our vision for this conference is to help enhance the contractor's or organization's position and market share by addressing issues that directly affect their business.” said Bob Loubier, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the EMRC.
“We all agree that the event went even better than expected, with great information-sharing and key points surfacing at every turn, which we all will use to increase success via collaboration among these three groups.”
The highly interactive, invitation-only conference used its time wisely, concentrating on issues such as identifying and capitalizing on market share opportunities, workforce recruitment, and millwright retention strategies centering on training and drug testing.
Breakout sessions – either for power generation or conveyor, pulp, & paper – gave contractors the platform to focus on specific concerns or changes they support within their vertical sector.
“The concerns and suggestions brought up by contractors were noted by the EMRC, and we fully intend to see how we can push the initiatives through and better assist contractors in being competitive and profitable,” Loubier added.
An insightful moment at APEX occurred when a panel of contractors from different backgrounds and industries convened: IPC Lydon, TurbinePROs, O’Connor Corp., and Conveyor Specialties. Each company leader discussed personal challenges, and then their triumphs to overcome those challenges. They also shared success stories of how the EMRC workforce helped their business.
Contractors also gained valuable solutions to help enhance positioning. They worked with key EMRC and UBC staff to address issues and develop solutions to accelerate positive initiatives, enhance performance with the UBC millwright workforce and plan goals with a two-year outlook.
“A description of APEX 2020’s purpose was Accelerating, Performing, and Exceeding. I believe we accelerated the teamwork approach for those in attendance. I anticipate higher performance on jobsites based on the myriad of training and recruitment initiatives we all learned about. And, I know we exceeded the expectations of APEX attendees by giving them real-life solutions, ideas, and opportunities at this event,” said John Ferrante, Associate Executive Director of the Northeast Millwright Association.
In addition to Bob Loubier and John Ferrante, additional VIP presenter/collaborators at the event included: Mike Capelli, UBC General Secretary-Treasurer; William Waterkotte, UBC Eastern District Vice President; Dennis Donahou, UBC Southern District Vice President, and Kim Flowers of True Partners.
The is the first APEX Conference. The next APEX event is scheduled for 2022.