Missouri Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe, St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones, St. Louis County Executive Sam Page and St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann are among the top Missouri and St. Louis area governmental leaders to publicly support the upcoming 2023 Investment in Infrastructure Expo being hosted by the SITE Improvement Association on February 28 at the St. Charles Convention Center.
Now in its seventh year, the Expo has expanded to include 31 government agencies, municipalities, utilities, and other entities from around the St. Louis area who will discuss their upcoming infrastructure improvements projects, construction plans and bidding opportunities one-on-one with hundreds of contractors and suppliers in a trade show floor networking environment that will also feature exhibits by dozens of equipment dealers.
“The major influx of federal and locally funded infrastructure projects in the St. Louis region is good news, but it will also exacerbate the industry’s existing labor shortage and increase the demand for construction materials and supplies,” said Jeremy Bennett, Executive Director of the SITE Improvement Association. “This will drive costs up for the governmental agencies and public utilities as they seek to ensure the best stewardship possible of the taxpayer money funding these projects. The Expo provides a valuable opportunity for contractors and these entities to come together, establish valuable relationships and begin meaningful conversations about addressing workforce and contracting issues in a timely and effective manner.”
Missouri Governor Mike Parson attended the Expo in 2020 and gave the keynote address. This year Lt. Governor Kehoe will deliver the keynote address to more than 500 attendees.
“Missouri has always been a great place to live and work,” says Kehoe. “The Investment in Infrastructure Expo is a prime example of how Missouri is open for business. This event will showcase over $2 billion in infrastructure construction projects.”
The timing of the Expo coincides with the increase in construction projects now being bid by many of the region’s road boards and public works departments. Due to current conditions, these projects may be jeopardized due to little or no bidders. The Expo encourages contractors and suppliers to learn about the projects and bidding processes used for these projects, which should encourage multiple bidders and help these entities deliver the best value to their taxpayers and ratepayers.
“St. Louis County has been a participant since the Expo’s inception,” said St. Louis County Executive Sam Page.” It allows us to advertise our projects with hundreds of contractors and potential bidders. Greater competition means lower bids and that’s a win for St. Louis County residents.”
Bennett says the Expo will also help increase participation of minority-owned and women-owned businesses in the area’s construction industry. The Expo is open for all contractors of all sizes to attend.
“The one-on-one networking environment at the Expo will be a big help for WBEs and MBEs seeking new business opportunities and for the public and private entities seeking to hire them,” he said. “This model of relationship building with an open format brings a comfort level for WBE and MBE businesses as they meet and speak with the right people and do business in the region. The St. Louis International Airport’s Business Diversity Development department, a certifying agency for MBEs and WBEs, will be on hand to answer questions as well.”
“The Investment in Infrastructure Expo is an excellent opportunity for small, minority, and women-owned construction contractors and suppliers to cultivate vital relationships with construction consumers, said St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones, “The City of St. Louis applauds SITE Improvement Association for hosting an event that positively impacts the success and growth of the St. Louis Region.”
Fast-growing St. Charles County, where the Expo will be held, has significant needs for effective and affordable infrastructure expansion and improvement. The County’s population grew 12.4 percent from 2010 to 2020, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent 2020 Census.
“Continued growth in St. Charles County requires infrastructure improvements of all kinds and proactively working with those who bid these improvements will assist in the best use of taxpayer dollars to deliver quality projects,” said St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann. “We appreciate SITE Improvement Association for hosting this collaborative event.”
Jefferson County and Franklin County are also experiencing steady population growth, which creates the need to build more relationships with contractors and learn from other fast-growing parts of the region how to best expand infrastructure.
“Our roads and infrastructure are essential to the continued growth of Jefferson County,” said County Executive Dennis Gannon. “This Expo allows us to forge new working relationships with the companies who want to make a positive impact in our area.”
“We are on the cusp of exponential growth as more and more people move into Franklin County,” said Presiding Commissioner Tim Brinker. “The Expo gives us the chance to meet with other county and municipal employees and see the improvements they are making to attract families to their area and apply those best practices here.”
Project presenters scheduled to participate in the Expo include:
Ameren, City of Berkeley, City of Bridgeton, City of Chesterfield, City of Dellwood, City of Jennings, City of Manchester, City of O’Fallon, City of St. Charles, City of St. Peters, City of Washington, City of Weldon Spring, CRG-St. Charles Riverpointe, Duckett Creek Sanitary District, Francis Howell School District, Franklin County, Great Rivers Greenway, Invenergy, Missouri American Water, MoDOT, MSD, PWSD No. 2, Saint Louis Zoo, St. Charles County, St. Louis City, St. Louis County, St. Louis County Parks, St. Louis Development Corp, St. Louis Lambert Airport, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, UMSL and Union Pacific Railroad
The Expo is open to the public and all contractors, suppliers and industry professionals are invited to attend. The event will run from 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm, with Lt. Gov. Kehoe’s keynote address scheduled for 2:45 pm, followed by networking and drinks/appetizers beginning at 3:30 pm.
Tickets to the Expo are $25 per person and can be purchased by visiting www.sitestl.org/event/2023-investment-in-infrastructure-expo/.or by calling SITE’s office at 314-966-2950.
The SITE Improvement Association advances the construction industry in eastern Missouri through public policy advocacy, labor relations support, safety and leadership training and professional networking. Established in 1966 as an independent trade organization, SITE represents more than 230 contractors and suppliers in the Concrete, Asphalt Paving, Sewer/Utility, Highway/Bridge, Earthmoving, Landscaping and Specialty construction sectors. For more information, visit www.sitestl.org.