The Associated Builders and Contractors issues a statement to Ohio Governor DeWine encouraging his administration to identify construction as an essential industry and allowing construction projects to remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic.
March 19, 2020
Governor Mike DeWine
Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted Senate President Larry Obhof Senate Minority Leader Kenny Yuko Speaker Larry Householder
House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes Ohio State Senators
Ohio State Representatives
We thank you, Governor DeWine, for prioritizing life during this unprecedented international pandemic. To you and all our elected state leaders, the members of Associated Builders and Contractors of Ohio are here to help our state preserve and enhance the safety of our families, neighbors and fellow citizens.
Other states are considering adding construction to their “emergency services” and we encourage you to do likewise. Just yesterday the Governor of New York, in his executive order to reduce the workforce of non-essential services, exempted construction and construction workers. Governor Cuomo declared construction an “essential service.”
Here are a few examples of how our tradesmen and women are fulfilling the essential needs of our modern system during the crisis:
- Our electricians keep the lights on in the hospitals, fire stations and police departments. They also keep all the important equipment running for the sickest and most vulnerable Ohioans, protecting and sustaining their lives.
- The heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC) mechanics keep the generators and air flow systems running in our hospitals, clinics and doctors’ offices. In addition to providing key services to our health care industry, citizens will be calmed and comforted knowing these men and women are on the job. They will not need to worry when the temperatures plunge below freezing this weekend – they will still be served by trusted HVAC businesses.
- Vertical lift companies, contractors and mechanics who work on elevators and escalators, are necessary for getting patients to the proper areas of the hospital and keeping key businesses and essential government offices accessible.
- Building inspectors are also critical personnel during the crisis to keep construction jobs and maintenance on schedule and ensure safety.
- Road and bridge infrastructure projects also need to stay on track and be maintained for the sake and safety of our truck drivers and driving public.
- Grocery stores, some restaurants, other small businesses and essential services that remain open need to know their plumbers, HVAC mechanics and electricians are on hand as they struggle to provide food and assistance to the state and nation.
- In the construction industry, safety is key, so it is also important to note that abandoned worksites create immediate hazards. We can help you protect the public by staying on the job and at the ready.
The thousands of construction workers who work on government and private sector construction generally work outside and most often have fewer than 50 men and women on the work site at any given time. Social distancing is already the norm.
Your Ohio construction workers and tradesmen and women are ready to step up and work for Ohio and our fellow citizens during this crisis. We encourage you to take the lead in this area, as you have in so many others, and assure Ohioans that construction workers and tradespeople are essential to our safety and well-being and will be continuing to provide necessary services to keep our state running smoothly and safely.
We stand with you,
Bryan C. Williams
President, ABC of Ohio
VP of Government Affairs, ABC of Ohio