Storm Ventures Group (SVG) kicks off the 9th annual “Win The Storm Conference” (WTS) with a parade recognizing Hurricane Ian first responders on March 15 at 9 a.m. at the Greater Fort Lauderdale Broward Convention Center located at 1950 Eisenhower Blvd. WTS is the largest conference and tradeshow expo for general contracting, restoration, roofing and solar companies to gain advanced education, training, technology, and tactics to help property owners recover after large storms and catastrophic events. The three-day event will be held March 15-17 and includes educational speakers, panels with live Q&A, over 100 industry-specific breakout sessions, evening receptions, awards night, as well as a full tradeshow expo floor full of the industry’s leading vendors and suppliers that serve the nation’s $100B+ storm and catastrophic restoration industry.
“There are many issues across the explosive $100B+ storm and catastrophic event industry and we provide a venue that addresses all of them. Key touchpoints this year include improving hurricane recovery efforts, creating new programs that can be scaled nationally with local high schools and colleges to beat the skilled labor shortage, and of course, always stopping to recognize our first responders. This industry is on the front lines of disaster recovery and weather events are not going away. We are committed to providing the most advanced training and readiness to contractors throughout the nation and abroad,” says Anthony Delmedico, producer of the Win The Storm Conference and Tradeshow Expo.
Parade participants include emergency services and disaster response; police and fire personnel; electrical grid linesmen; emergency mitigation companies; tree and debris removal companies; demolition; Army Corp of Engineers; Blue Tarp Army; general, roofing andrestoration contractors; policyholder advocates; military color guard and marching band; and hurricane and flood victims and families. These Florida heroes will be recognized for their efforts in a “pass in review” style parade led by retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, U.S. Army.
According to reinsurer Swiss Re, Hurricane Ian caused the second-largest insured loss after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and was ranked top five costliest storm. Ian made landfall near Cayo Costa, Fla. on Sept. 28 as a strong Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 150 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center.
“The insurance claims process is very difficult for property owners to navigate alone, and depending on various laws, regulations and state statutes that govern carriers, that process can slow or speed the recovery efforts. Our annual conference puts a spotlight on that issue via open debates and discussions,” says Delmedico.
Recent data from modeling firm RMS estimates up to $67B in property damage throughout Florida, the Carolinas, Georgia and Virginia, and another $10B in National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) losses. According to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation’s (OIR) most recent data, 683,456 Ian claims have been filed to date, and 76% of claims are closed.
On Thursday, March 16, keynote speaker Doug Quinn of the American Policyholder Association (APA) will present on the main stage at 3 p.m. on policyholder issues affecting residential and commercial property owners. At 4 p.m., a Policyholder Advocate Panel comprised of industry experts, hurricane victims and property owners will dive in further and openly discuss these issues with an interactive Q&A session with the audience.
On Friday, March 17, Melanie Griffin, secretary of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), will participate in a Hurricane Ian Recovery Panel on the main stage at 11 a.m. discussing similar talking points related to rebuilding, high fives and ways to improve hurricane recovery efforts. Politicians, dignitaries and media are invited to attend. Open Q&A session will be held.
The construction industry will need to attract nearly 650,000 additional workers on top of the normal pace of hiring to meet the demand for labor, according to a model developed by Associated Builders and Contractors.
Committed to reducing the skilled labor shortage and providing alternative paths to lucrative careers, SVG is providing free access to high school and college students to learn about the construction, restoration, roofing and solar industry. As part of a new community outreach- program he’s creating to scale nationally to beat the skilled labor shortage and help companies attract and retain top talent, Delmedico is providing the student WTS attendees complimentary access to SVGUniversity, an online virtual training platform he created.
"The labor shortage in this industry is astounding. Recruiting and staffing is the number one complaint from contractors across the industry. We’re excited to use our platform for positive change by promoting awareness and providing hands-on educational and training opportunities for students. We’ll provide a national forum for students and recent grads to connect with companies that are recruiting,” says Delmedico.
According to McKinsey, the US Bipartisan Infrastructure Law projects $550B of new
infrastructure investment over the next decade, creating 3.2 million new jobs across the nonresidential construction value chain for a 30 percent increase that equates to 300,000 to 600,000 new workers entering the sector—every year.
“This is a win-win for the industry. We’re showing contractors throughout the U.S. how to tap into and connect with their local markets, school systems and colleges to recruit and beat the skilled labor shortage,” says Delmedico.
WTS breakout session topics include courses on entrepreneurship, business development, technology, virtual reality (VR) training, AI, drone photography and video, building teams and company culture, as well as industry-specific sessions on managing large loss claims, disaster preparedness and recovery, emergency services, estimating, production, software, cybersecurity, and marketing. The WTS 2023 Diamond Sponsor is CMR Construction & Roofing, a Florida-based company ranked ninth nationwide by Roofing Contractor magazine’s Top 100 list. Learn more or register at www.WinTheStorm.com.