If you've tried to sell your home lately, you know how soft the residential market is. But on the professional level, your spending is taking up the slack.

According to USA Today's analysis of Census Bureau data, construction of such public facilities as sewer plants and recreational facilities rose 11.1% in the first four months of the year to a record annualized rate of $257 billion. State and local governments are floating a lot of bond issues—$228 billion during the first six months of the year—but, hey, we've all got to pay to play, at home and at the office. The increased borrowing shows your efforts to shore up our ailing roads and pipelines have gained traction with officials.

I mention this only because there's an increase in both attendee and exhibitor numbers here at the American Public Works Association's annual convention. The association's first-time attendee breakfast packed a fair-sized meeting hall to the gills, and the atmosphere on the show floor is lively. If you couldn't make it to San Antonio, this is the first of two e-newsletters you'll be receiving sharing the success stories of your colleagues, and the products, services, and consulting firms that made those solutions possible. This information will also be available on our website. Click here to view our APWA show guide page.

We hope you find this information helpful. Please don't hesitate to contact me with comments or suggestions so we can make our future trade show coverage as useful for you as possible.

Stephanie Johnston
Editor in Chief

This article is part of PUBLIC WORKS magazine's live coverage from the 2007 APWA Show. Click here to read more articles from the show.