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Future Workforce Conference


11.29.2018 7:30AM - 4:00PM


Low Res Studio 1821 W Hubbard St #203 Chicago, 60622

Premier Sponsors

Here’s something exciting: According to PwC’s global construction forecast, the AEC industry is expected to grow by 85%, reaching $15.5 trillion by 2030.

That’s good, right? Yes, but: The increasing consumer demand runs starkly counter to a sharp decline in available talent.

The built world has a major workforce dilemma.

An aging workforce, an ongoing labor shortage, a lack of understanding about how to attract millennials, and a reluctance to adopt technology are all contributing factors.

Nonetheless, the reality is that our emerging workforce is not meeting the evolving needs of the industry, and because of it, companies are consistently turning away projects. And thus, profits.

At the Future Workforce Conference, we’re featuring 20+ experts in recruiting and HR in AEC/RE to talk about how to solve our industry’s workforce dilemma once and for all.

We’ll feature specific front-line case studies of successful recruiting tactics from industry leaders, interactive breakout sessions to get to the ‘core’ of your workforce issues and networking to help you meet like-minded senior leaders who are exploring similar solutions.

Workforce Experts (AKA Our Speakers)

Jim Andrews

Founder & CEO, SubHQ

Jason Barber

VP - Construction Market & Innovation, Assignar

Steven Beck

Quality Assurance Project Manager, Charles Hall Construction

Jacqueline Brennan

Student, Lecturer, DePaul University

Scott Brown

District Manager, ADP

Megan Conrad

Director of Virtual Construction, Ryan Companies US, Inc.

Diana Eidenshink

President, ACE Mentor Program of America, Inc.

James Ellis

Lead Employer Brand Consultant, Proactive Talent

Collete English Dixon

Executive Director, Marshall Bennett Institute of Real Estate, Roosevelt University

Hilda Espinal

Chief Technology Officer, CannonDesign

Eva Green

Program Manager, BuiltWorlds

Sam Huffman

Partnership Development Manager, Sam Huffman

Ratna Kunwar

Student, Northwestern University

Raymond Krizek

Professor, Northwestern University

Jim Lichtenwalter

News Analyst, BuiltWorlds

Eric Lugo

Executive Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement , City Colleges of Chicago

Jayson Margalus

Faculty Director, DePaul University

Stephen Muck

CEO, Advanced Construction Robotics

Ludwig Nitsche

Associate Dean for Undergraduate Affairs, University of Illinois at Chicago

Cathy Osborne

Vice President, Human Resources, Leopardo Companies

Thomas Peters

Director of Workforce Development, Symbol Training Institute

Stephen Pierz

Chief Innovation Officer, FBR


BuitlWorlds Hackathon 2018 Winners

John Rygg

Enterprise Architect - Field Devices, R&D Hololens Business Process Owner, Kiewit

Anthony Rosignolo

Director of Technology & Innovation, Berglund Construction

Jack Timmins

Student, University of Illinois at Chicago

David Wald

CEO and Co-Founder, Aclaimant


More exhibitors to be announced!


Human Resources Executives, Managers, and Recruiters

Discover innovative solutions to your most business-critical workforce problems directly from the experts.

Human Resource Outsourcing (HROs) Organizations

Learn what specific problems your clients are facing and uncover unique business opportunities.

Universities and Professional Development Firms

Hear straight from senior executives what critical labor shortages they are facing and uncover how to position your students and clients to fill them.


Day 1 Schedule

VIP KickOff Party - November 28th


Doors Open

Join us for an evening of drinks and hors d’oeurves at Redmond Construction. Network with Future Workforce speakers, special guests, BuiltWorlds’ members, and of course the BuiltWorlds team.


Inside Voices - Future Workforce Student Panel

MODERATOR: Eva Green, BuiltWorlds // Jackie Brennan, DePaul University // Ratna Kunwar, Northwestern University // Jack Timmins, University of Illinois - Chicago

As graduating students from leading industry programs look forward, they are confronting new challenges and opportunities in a world where technology is transforming the workforce. From digital hiring trends to the fundamental ways of learning, we will sit down with students to gain insight on generational trends and what they are seeing as they enter their industry and advance their careers.

This panel will also be a unique opportunity for industry players to gain direct feedback from the newest generation of workers and learn ways to recruit, develop, and retain the best and brightest workers.


VIP KickOff Party Concludes

Day 2 Schedule

Future Workforce Conference - November 29th


Breakfast & Networking


Opening Remarks

Matt Gray, Co-Founder, BuiltWorlds

8:40am – 9:10am

Keynote: Facing the Future Workforce Challenge

Eric Lugo, Executive Vice Chancellor of Institutional Advancement, City Colleges of Chicago

Recovering from the latest economic recession has been no easy feat. Progress has been made steadily, but it has been slow, and industries continue to face a new series of barriers. As job growth is on the uptick, the shortage of qualified workers has presented new challenges for educational institutions, government entities, and private companies. The City Colleges of Chicago provides educational services to more than 80,000 students each year at its campuses and satellite sites, providing hands-on learning in construction technology, advanced manufacturing, information technology, transportation logistics. Through a combination of new leadership, strategy, and work-based learning opportunities, we will explore how one of the largest community college systems in the country is taking on the challenge of preparing students to become skilled workers entering the workforce.

9:15am – 9:50am

Panel: Back to Future Schools - How Leading Programs are Retooling to Meet the Challenge

MODERATOR: Isabel Singer, BuiltWorlds Research Specialist // Steven Beck, Adjunct Professor, Illinois Institute of Technology/Quality Assurance Project Manager, Charles Hall Construction // Collette English Dixon, Executive Director, Marshall Bennett Institute of Real Estate, Roosevelt University // Jayson Margalus, Faculty Director, DePaul University // Ludwig C. Nitsche – Associate Dean for Undergraduate Affairs, UIC College of Engineering // Raymond Krizek, Faculty Director, McCormick School of Engineering, Northwestern University

The presence of technology is transforming both the way students are being taught, as well as how they are learning new skills as they prepare to enter the workforce. While a variety of digital and interactive tools are available, teachers must still meet education standards of the past while embracing new tools and ways of learning. From online courses to interactive teaching models and creative spaces, we will a closer look and discuss how leading programs are examining ways to engage, accelerate learning, and prepare students to enter the workforce.

9:50am -10:00am

Networking Break


Fireside Chat: Human v. Machine - A Love Story

MODERATOR: Sam Huffman, Partnership Development Manager, BuiltWorlds // Stephen Muck, Co-founder & President, Advanced Construction Robotics // Stephen Pierz Chief Innovation Officer, FBR

As the search for qualified workers continues, technology and the human-machine interface continues to change the already complex relationship between humans and machines. From improved efficiency to increased diagnostic abilities, we will explore how high-tech machinery is changing the need for human workers, and the challenges and opportunities that have been born from the technology boom in the built world.


Panel: Hacking the Future Workforce

2018 Hackathon Winners

In addition to transforming education and learning how technology is changing the workforce, we must also be prepared for a new generation of savvy visionaries who are creating possibilities in the built environment. In this panel, we will hear from innovators who won the winning title at the BuiltWorld’s 2018 Hackathon and learn how their invention will help progress the industry.

11:10am – 11:40am

Panel: On The Ground - Recruiting & Training the Future Workforce

MODERATOR: Jim Lichtenwalter, Journalist, BuiltWorlds // Jim Andrews, President/CEO, American Iron Workers & Erectors Inc./Subcontractor HQ // Diana Eidenshink, President, Ace Mentor Program of America, Inc. // Thomas Peters, Director of Workforce Development, Symbol Training Institute

As the search for qualified workers lurks ahead, the built industry is taking off their gloves and hitting the pavement to fill in the gaps. In this panel, we will hear from leaders on the ground who are leading diverse approaches to recruiting, training, and retaining employees. From mentoring to apprenticeships, professional development, and skills training, this panel will give an inside look at innovative approaches that are utilizing technology to create new opportunities for the future workforce.



12:50pm – 1:20pm

Keynote: Attracting the Future Workforce - Employment Branding in the Built World

James Ellis, Lead Employer Brand Consultant/Host, Proactive Talent/Talentcast

In an age where it feels like everything is going digital, attracting a strong and qualified workforce is no different. In this keynote, James Ellis will bring you into his world of employment branding and help you re-think how you are competing for the best and brightest talent to drive your company forward.


Panel: Tech Talks - BuiltWorld’s Top Adoption Leaders

MODERATOR: Isabel Singer, Research Specialist // Hilda Espinal, Chief Technology Officer, CannonDesign // Megan Conrad, Director of Virtual Construction, Ryan Companies US, Inc. // Anthony Rosignolo, Director of Technology & Innovation, Berglund Construction // John Rygg, Kiewit, Enterprise Architect, Kiewit

New employment opportunities are sprouting up throughout the built environment as companies are adopting emerging technologies. In this panel, our research team will highlight innovative leaders who made BuiltWorld’s Technology Adoption Leaders 50 List and further explore evolving technology roles among Field Operators, BIM/VDC managers, traditional IT professionals, and those in the overall AEC-RE industry.

2:00pm – 2:20pm

Breakout Groups

2:25pm – 2:55pm

Panel: Leveraging Tech to Strengthen & Sustain a Stronger Workforce

MODERATOR: Eva Green, Program Manager, BuiltWorlds // Cathy Osborne, Vice President of Human Resources, Leopardo Companies // Scott Brown, District Manager, ADP // David Wald, CEO & Co-Founder, Aclaimant

As the search for quality candidates is challenging enough, attracting and retaining qualified workers is no easy task either. In this panel, we will hear from company leaders who will discuss how technology is supporting professional employee development, safety, risk management, and creating a culture that retains a company’s most valuable employees.


Closing remarks


November 28 from 6:00PM – 8:00PM

Join us for an evening of drinks and hors d’oeurves at Redmond Construction. Network with Future Workforce speakers, special guests, BuiltWorlds’ members, and of course the BuiltWorlds team.

Redmond Construction is located at 319 West Ontario Street Suite #1, Chicago, IL 60654. Please check-in with a photo ID.

Register Here

For the password to register, please contact Alex Maksymec at alex.maksymec@builtworlds.com.

Low Res Studio 1821 W Hubbard St #203 Chicago 60622


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If you are a student interested in attending Future Workforce, we have a limited number of student tickets available. To register, please email Alex Maksymec at alex.maksymec@builtworlds.com

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