Next Level AwardsBy Sara Feuling, AEM Senior Director of Construction —

I grew up in a blue-collar family—one with roots in farming, manufacturing and the skilled trades. 

A good part of my childhood was spent building things in the basement with my grandfather. As soon as we were big enough to sit on a stool at his workbench, he gave us a small hammer, a bucket of nails and a scrap piece of lumber. 

My sisters and I made birdhouses and step stools with him, as well as furniture for our dolls with my father. But despite all those experiences, I had no clue a future in construction was on the horizon for me. At the time, I wasn’t even aware construction was an industry, and I certainly didn’t realize how much it would grow and evolve along with me over the years. 

There’s something to be said for the pride you feel when you’ve built something, a feeling that started really young. I found that in a career in civil engineering and heavy highway construction.  

When I think about what lies ahead for the construction industry, it’s truly an exciting time to engage with the tools and technologies poised to impact our industry in the years to come. And I know I’m not alone in looking forward to where these innovations will take us, and not just in five or 10 years, but tomorrow. 

If I’ve learned one thing during my time in the industry, it’s that contractors and engineers are always in search of tools and processes to optimize the work they do, increase productivity, reduce or even eliminate rework and – of course – improve their bottom line. 

As someone who has spent her fair share of time building things, whether in the basement or on the highway, I can relate to our contractor partners and their needs, wants and preferences for technology and innovation. Because, at the end of the day, we all want to go about doing our jobs as efficiently, effectively and safely as possible. 

In an effort to highlight and recognize all the innovations making a difference in the construction industry, CONEXPO-CON/AGG recently announced the launch of its inaugural Next Level Awards. 

The Next Level Awards celebrate companies that are pushing the boundaries and developing next-level products, technologies and services designed to advance the construction industry. Products that:  

  • Address a common industry need in a unique and innovative way  
  • Benefit the industry across multiple applications for industry wide adoption, and 
  • Positively impact the safety, sustainability and workforce of the industry. 

A total of 10 Next Level Awards finalists will be selected by a diverse panel of Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) contractor members who will be judging applications based on innovation, application, engineering, scalability and impact. Those 10 finalists will be recognized on-site at CONEXPO-CON/AGG, where show attendees will have the opportunity to visit the finalists’ booths and vote for their favorite next level product or service in the Contractor’s Choice Award.  

We are excited to see what you are bringing to the show (and to our industry) – make sure you submit your application by Nov. 30! We can’t wait to see you and the products that are helping us do our jobs efficiently, effectively and safely at CONEXPO-CON/AGG next spring. 

The Next Level Awards are open to any CONEXPO-CON/AGG and IFPE exhibiting company in good standing. Applications are due Nov. 30. Additional information can be found in your Exhibitor Dashboard or through your Account Success Advisor. 

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