Learning Labs

The Trade Show will feature six Learning Lab exhibitor workshops, providing opportunities to hear from experts on a variety of topics.

The Learning Lab program will be held in the Hynes Convention Center Auditorium on Friday, Jan. 19. Sessions are 30 minutes long.

Location 1

11:30 a.m.-Noon
•Sustainability Advisory Services for Municipalities
Presented by Constellation, Booth 1101
Learn how Constellation’s team of sustainability experts help municipalities with decarbonization and emissions reductions, climate action planning, compliance and reporting, risk mitigation, cost management, and operational efficiency.

12:10-12:40 p.m.
• Working with Your Local Cultural Council
Presented by Mass Cultural Council, Booth 720
This session will provide guidance and best practices for building a strong cultural community, and touch on how municipalities can participate in bringing film productions to their communities. The session will discuss ways that municipalities can work with their local cultural council to support the cultural work happening in their communities, and how this support creates a more livable community.

12:50-1:20 p.m.
• Managing Pension and OPEB Costs: The Dual Nature of Section 115 Trusts
Presented by Public Agency Retirement Services, Booth 506
In the rapidly evolving financial landscape of public sector agencies, Massachusetts municipalities face two significant challenges: other post-employment benefits (OPEB) and defined-benefit pension liabilities. This session will explore these critical issues and present unique and innovative solutions. The session will focus on the use of Section 115 Combination Trusts, which serve as a groundbreaking financial mechanism and provide multiple advantages, including economies of scale, low fees, and investment asset diversification. The session will examine the operational framework of the combination trust and share compelling case studies. It will also emphasize the opportunity this presents for local governments, underscoring the advantages of adoption and ways they can help to ensure a stable financial future.

Location 2

11:30 a.m.-Noon
• The 5 Keys to Creating Strategic Plans That Work
Presented by ClearGov, Booth 515
This session will discuss creating strategic plans and the keys to making them work so communities can see the vision of their elected officials put to work. Attendees will learn five essential keys to creating, managing and executing a plan using modern frameworks, techniques and tools.

12:10-12:40 p.m.
• Internet for All in Your Community
Presented by Massachusetts Broadband Institute, Booth 723
Massachusetts is set to enhance high-speed internet with $147 million from the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment program. The BEAD program requires the Massachusetts Broadband Institute to facilitate a challenge process, in the early summer of 2024, that allows municipalities to contest the Federal Communications Commission’s broadband map, potentially unlocking additional federal funding. Takeaways will include meeting MBI team members, identifying unserved and underserved areas, understanding federal funding opportunities, and learning to engage actively in the challenge process.

12:50-1:20 p.m.
• How to Navigate Animal Issues in your City or Town
Presented by MSPCA– Angell, Booth 1023
Animals, both wild and domestic, are everywhere in our communities, and they can bring both enjoyment and concern. Municipalities regularly navigate complex animal situations, be it dangerous or nuisance dogs, or wildlife sightings that concern residents. In this session, experts will explore resources available to help guide local approaches. Attendees will discover resources to address animal cruelty, and ensure that the dangerous/nuisance dog law is enforced efficiently, effectively and fairly. They’ll also learn about how to promote the most humane and effective animal policies. Knowing some of the most common pitfalls, issues and strategies can help municipalities use their relevant bylaws or ordinances efficiently and effectively.