Industry Group Fights to Keep Construction Essential in Carolinas
Mar 23, 2020 02:21PM
By David Dykes
In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Carolinas AGC (CAGC) is urging the governors of North Carolina and South Carolina to consider all construction to be an essential service in the event of a shelter-in-place order.
Carolinas AGC said it is working with the administrations of N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper and S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster to help protect public safety in the Carolinas by keeping construction activities moving.
"We are concerned about the possibility that state and local government may be considering a possible blanket shutdown of operations without an exemption for personnel that support construction activities," Dave Simpson, president and CEO of Carolinas AGC, wrote in letters last week to the two governors.
"We strongly recommend that local and state government treat construction as essential services that should be continued in this time of crisis. While there is a risk of communicable diseases in every industry, construction sites are a unique workplace with their own levels of 'social distancing' built in. They also are often tightly controlled, with the required safety protocols and separation from the general public."
CAGC officials said staff members – including lobbyists Leslie Clark in Columbia and Betsy Bailey and Victor Barbour in Raleigh – have been working closely with the state departments of transportation in both Carolinas and other state agencies to help keep construction services moving to help protect public safety.
In addition, CAGC is working with members to deliver much-needed N95 masks to hospitals and doctors' offices. Nearly 500 masks have been donated by members so far, the officials said.