Learning Lab Descriptions

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Saturday, January 20, on the Trade Show floor
Auditorium, 200 Aisle, Hynes Convention Center

The MMA is excited this year to launch a new type of exhibitor workshop called the “Learning Lab.” The fast-paced, 30-minute, interactive sessions offer an overview of the subject matter, and following each session, attendees may follow up with speakers at their Trade Show booth.

“I Pay Your Salary”: Responding to Difficult Situations 
10:30-11 a.m.
Presented by Cally Ritter, Massachusetts Interlocal Insurance Association (Booth 901)

From time to time, everyone must deal with challenging people and situations. Public service employees are expected to maintain a positive public image for their department and community, even when confronted with a resident’s disappointment, anger or indignation. What one wants to say and what one should say are often two very different things. Learn techniques for defusing and resolving difficult situations.

Women and Minorities in Public Works
11:10-11:40 a.m.
Presented by Mary Monahan of Fuss & O’Neill (Booth 601)

The New England Chapter of the American Public Works Association’s Diversity Committee recently surveyed its members to better understand challenges in hiring women and minorities in traditional public works labor and trade positions. Survey results indicate that women and minorities are not applying for these positions. Is it a lack of awareness that these jobs are available, a lack of appropriate training or experience, or something else? Dive into these questions with Massachusetts members of the APWA Diversity Committee and formulate strategies on how to increase awareness about these public works job opportunities.

Taming the OPEB Beast: Latest Trends in Investing, Managing and Funding Retiree Health Care
11:50 a.m.-12:20 p.m.
Presented by Maureen Toal of Public Agency Retirement Services (Booth 703)

Other post-employment benefit (OPEB) liabilities continue to strain municipal budgets. Learn approaches that can help local officials manage these long-term costs, as well as the impact of pre-funding these liabilities through an IRS-compliant OPEB trust. Attention will be paid to recent implementation of the new Governmental Accounting Standards Board standards (GASB 74/75), and investment and funding approaches municipalities have taken in Massachusetts and nationwide.

Electric Vehicle Charging Solutions for Municipalities
12:30-1 p.m.
Presented by Ian Walch of Constellation (Booth 1101)

Find out how to bring EV charging stations to your community. Along with partner ChargePoint, Constellation will provide an overview of electric vehicle charging options for municipalities, and how to finance EV charging stations using Efficiency Made Easy (EME).

Taxes: A Softer Sell
1:10-1:40 p.m.
Presented by Jason Bergeron of Invoice Cloud (Booth 1828)

Local officials can change how some residents feel about paying taxes by promoting the good that it does for their community. Learn what a “softer sell” is, why it’s important, where to promote, and how it can have a positive effect on the feelings of your taxpayers.