When the COVID-19 pandemic forced virtually every sector of the California economy to shut down in the spring of 2020, our team at Associated General Contractors of California (AGC) rolled up our sleeves and got to work. Learn more about AGC of California and the industry's response in our COVID-19 report.
Swift Action, Significant Result
Importantly, AGC helped construction firms in every corner of California navigate complicated and shifting regulations by issuing timely, accurate information through our “County-by-County Ordinance Tracker,” which was launched in late April 2020.
AGC, together with our member partners, proved the industry’s mettle. We’re proud of the work that we’ve done, and grateful for the trust our members have placed in us to serve them.
What Fortitude Looks Like
Unified Around Safety
On April 1, 2020, hundreds of thousands of California’s construction workers joined in a unified “Safety Stand Down.” This statewide effort brought jobsite work to a halt and allowed the construction workforce to focus exclusively on the critical role each and every worker plays in keeping themselves and California safe.
Less than two weeks later, hundreds of construction firms across the nation followed the lead of AGC and its members by holding their own safety stand-downs. In doing so, they validated our proactive position on worker health and safety.
AGC’s leadership on the Safety Stand-Down has been an important element in how we’ve sought to deal with the pandemic. It helped unite the industry around a shared vision for pressing forward while giving us practical tools for keeping workers safe. The fact that it sparked a national stand-down movement is a testament to AGC’s influence."
Why We Persevere
Our industry is to be commended for serving as a leading example of how to respond to a global crisis—likely the worst crisis many of us have faced in our careers. COVID-19 is a formidable challenge that has upended businesses, put a tremendous strain on families and taken far too many lives.
Still, thanks to the tremendous support of AGC, we’ve been able to keep building. If I’ve learned anything in my conversations with so many of you over the last several months, it’s that the construction industry is more than capable of doing difficult things. If we can build jaw-dropping skyscrapers or awe-inspiring bridges, we are certainly creative and committed enough to do what it takes to keep our teams from getting sick.
Unfortunately, our work is far from done. Public health experts predict that we are several months or more away from returning to life as we knew it before the virus. The circumstances demand that we don’t let up on our commitment to keeping safe on the job. As weary as many of us are, we owe it to our employees and our fellow Californians to remain vigilant.
There are few silver linings to this pandemic, but if I were to identify one, it would be this: Our industry has become better—at communicating, at solving problems creatively and at showing our concern for one another—in ways that I anticipate will be long-lasting. And all of this would not have been possible had it not been for the work of AGC, which has united us, advocated for us, and made us stronger for the betterment of California.
Let’s keep at it.
Blach Construction Company
President, Associated General Contractors of California