It will come as no surprise that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, OWPI has no option but to cancel the 2021 OWPI Conference & Tradeshow previously scheduled for January 26th & 27th, 2021.
The OWPI Board of Directors held out as long as possible in hopes that we would see the virus numbers decrease and the restrictions lifted. Unfortunately, that has not happened, and in fact the numbers have gotten much worse. Several factors led to this difficult decision, including the restrictions put in place by Governor Pritzker, the additional expense of producing the event in a safe and responsible manner, exhibitors unable to attend tradeshows, and liability exposure associated with putting on the event and experiencing a “super spreader” contamination. In addition, we simply could not risk the expenditure of thousands of dollars to put on a conference only to have minimal attendance.
We have informed our exhibitors and vendors, of our decision. I will soon be sending out an e-mail to the membership and regulators across the state, notifying them of the cancelation of our 2021 Conference & Tradeshow. Everyone who attended the 2020 OWPI Conference & Tradeshow has already earned the necessary Continuing Education Unit (CEU’s) required to renew your IDPH Installers, Pumper, Portable Toilet Technician 2021 license and their LEHP license.
Moving forward, the Board of Directors is looking at alternative possibilities for providing CEU’s for the 2022 license renewals. One option being considered are two or three regional shows to be held in the fall of 2021. A southern, central, and possibly a northern “Field Day” is a possibility. This would be a smaller event and might entail a 3-hour course conducted in the field showing installation techniques, job site safety, etc. I have reached out to our exhibitors and received an overwhelming vote of support for this idea. OWPI would like to receive feedback from our membership on this idea and any other ideas you may have regarding the 2021 event.
As of today, the Illinois Dept. of Public Health is requiring 3 hours of CEU’s to renew your 2021 Installers, Pumpers, & Portable Toilet Technician license. Those individuals that failed to obtain the required CEU’s needed to renew your 2021 license currently have no options for obtaining the CEU’s. OWPI is considering conducting a small, limited access, 3-hour course for those needing CEU’s for their 2021 license renewal. This course would only be for those that failed to obtain their CEU’s for their 2021 license renewal. There would be limited seating and it would be on a “first come, first served” basis. Check out website for developments on this possible event.
OWPI will be mailing ballots to our membership for the 2021 Officers & Directors election as well as membership renewals. The annual membership registration and $20.00 membership fee is normally included in the registration and registration fee for the OWPI Conference & Tradeshow. There will be more information on this matter posted to our website soon.
We greatly appreciate your support, and we will do our best to support you and your business throughout the coming year. If you have any questions, concerns, or comments please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at (217) 202-0850. On behalf of the OWPI Board of Directors, I would like to wish everyone a pleasant holiday season and hope that you stay healthy and prosperous in the upcoming year.
OWPI Founding Member
Director – Region 6
Conference Committee Chairman