Posted on: February 12th, 2016 by MCA

When the St. Louis Arch was constructed in 1958, the plans included the deaths of five workers on the job. Today, zero accidents is the expectation. “Cyber security is like safety was in 1958,” said Bruce Billedeaux of Mavtech Global, keynote speaker at MCA’s Tech Showcase. “Because of connectivity in construction, it is becoming imperative to address the issue. The federal government is already requiring contractors to have cyber security plans in place.”

Tech Showcase provided a fast-paced day of learning about new technologies that affect the industry, from cyber security to advancements in welding. Eighteen high-level speakers and 25 exhibitors showcased the future to an audience of MCA contractor attendees and LU 597 apprentices and journeymen.

Laser scanners, mobile technologies and drones flying around the training center were small samples of the plethora of innovative technologies on display—all designed to increase productivity, reduce overhead and create a safer, more efficient workplace. Sage Estimating showed attendees how to build estimates more quickly than manual methods, and PlanGrid demonstrated software that allows team collaboration on building information from different locations.

The world of construction is changing fast. Apprentices at the event tried out virtual reality headsets, taking to the technology without hesitation. Lincoln Electric’s Orbital MIG welding impressed attendees with its precision calculation and time-saving capabilities. No one left the event without a story to tell about what they learned that could help perform a job more efficiently.

Held at the LU 597 Training Center in Mokena, the event was the sixth of its kind held by MCA Chicago, designed to keep members up-to-date on the latest trends to maintain their cutting edge in the industry.