AEM’s CE Sector Board met in-person on Nov. 11 at the AEM Annual Conference in Phoenix, Arizona to discuss progress on our 2021 priorities and determine priorities for 2022 and 2023. The agenda also featured updates from AEM staff regarding our service areas, including advocacy, market share statistics, and trade shows. 

CE Sector Board Chair Rod Schrader, Chairman & CEO, Komatsu America Corp., called the meeting to order and welcomed those in the room. He presented the consent agenda and highlighted several notable items from reports, including: the launch of the AEM BI Dashboard, key milestones and show planning updates for CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2023 and World of Asphalt 2022, the postponement of the Below Ground Worker Safety Demonstration Day, the availability of workforce development solutions, and membership retention goals. 

The Board began with an open forum relating to OSHA's COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing emergency temporary standard (ETS) and Directors considered the affect any mandate would have on their workforce and subsequently their production. They suggested AEM may be able to offer comments and share compliance concerns and challenges with regulators on behalf of the industry, including ensuring adequate access to tests and testing. 

Trade Shows 

AEM Senior Vice President of Exhibitions and Marketing Nicole Hallada provided an update on the recent success of The Utility Expo 2021, which was successfully rebranded and featured a new layout with 16,486 total registrants visiting 876 unique exhibitors exhibiting in 1.4 million net square feet. While trade shows across all industries are typically seeing 45% of their 2019 show attendance, The Utility Expo saw 85% of its 2019 show attendance. 

The CE Sector Board also approved the recommendation of Jim Glazer, president, Elliott Equipment Company, as Chair of The Utility Expo 2023 Management Committee. 

Advocacy 

AEM Senior Director of Government Relations Kate Fox Wood provided an update on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which was passed by the House of Representatives on Nov. 6. The IIJA authorizes nearly $1.2 trillion between FY 2022 and FY 2026, including $550 billion for infrastructure projects and existing programs. 

Howard Mains, AEM consultant in Canada, provided an update on the challenging circumstances surrounding right to repair in Canada. AEM Senior Vice President of Government and Industry Relations Kip Eideberg reiterated that AEM has an extensive action plan for 2022, including meeting with members of Parliament, providing comments to the Standing Committee on Industry, Science, and Technology, and developing materials to educate and share with elected officials and stakeholders. 

Market Share Statistics 

Following up on the approval of sharing the aggregated data for product(s) currently listed in the AEM CE Index segments at the August meeting, AEM Vice President of Business Intelligence Larry Buzecky provided an overview of how aggregated data is currently used in AEM’s Ag Sector. The association’s CE Sector will also share data beginning in 2022, highlighting sales month-over-month, year-over year, within specific industry segments.  

The draft report will be provided to the Board in January 2022 and will be discussed at the March 2022 meeting, with anticipated publication of data in 2022. 

2021 Priorities 

The Board reviewed their progress towards the CE Sector priorities for 2021, which included:   

  • Providing a unified voice on industry issues such as COVID recovery, worker safety, and cybersecurity, working closely with state and federal governments to put forth a series of policies that supported our industries and ensured the health and safety of our members during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Driving to increase adoption of equipment technology by end users, primarily through our CONEXPO-CON/AGG Tech Talks series, which has exceeded its goal to reach 750 end users
  • Engaging in efforts to advance our policy priorities through participation in the 2021 AEM Washington Fly-InI Make America events, and the Year of Action grassroots advocacy campaign

Prior to discussing 2022-2023 priorities, AEM President-Select and Senior Vice President, Construction and Utility Sector Megan Tanel shared that AEM’s John Somers will lead the CE Sector Board as Vice President, Construction and Utility Sector, supported by Sara Feuling, Senior Director, Construction. 

2022-2023 Priorities 

Stephen Roy, president of Region North America, Volvo Construction, and 2022 CE Sector Board Chair led the discussion to define priorities for 2022 and 2023, focusing on sustainability initiatives, workforce solutions, customer expectations, and regulatory awareness and engagement.  

AEM staff will provide the Board with an update from the Sustainability Council, allowing the CE Sector Board to provide input on initiatives and metrics to ensure continued and measurable progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals.  

The CE Sector continues to focus on what they can do to positively impact the perception of the industry, not only as one of the AEM Strategic Goals, but also directly related to sustainability and workforce development. Directors were encouraged to continue to share their individual voices and tell their stories to support the industry voice.  

The Board also discussed customer expectations related to customer connections, data privacy, supply chain, and technology. The CE Technology Leadership Group will review the objectives of the CONEXPO-CON/AGG Tech Talks and discuss additional opportunities for end user engagement and education, while considering other tactics that may be more effective at driving end user technology adoption.  

AEM staff will continue to provide the Board with updates on regulation and legislation. With support from industry partners, AEM may be able to engage with the rollout of both the infrastructure bill and the vaccine mandate to advocate for implementation that best serves our industries and our membership. 

Tanel recognized those Directors who have fulfilled their term on the CE Sector Board, thanking them for their dedication and service. 

The next meetings of AEM's Board of Directors and CE and Ag Sector Boards are scheduled for March 15-16 in Washington, DC. For more information about the CE Sector Board, contact John Somers at jsomers@aem.org.

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