Less than fifteen percent of the biggest construction companies in the nation have made LinkedIn statements outlining some response to the emergence of the coronavirus since its first reported American case on January 20.
Of the ENR Top 600 specialty contractors, roughly 14% posted statuses related to COVID-19. Compare that to the less than ten percent of the ENR Top 400 contractors that posted related statuses. The majority of ENR Top 400 contractors who posted coronavirus statuses in April had also posted them in March. Interestingly, though, almost none of the ENR Top 600 specialty contractors that posted statuses in April had posted in March.
What were the responses?
Of the LinkedIn posts, there are three clear trends: messages of hope, offers of community outreach, and helping others.
Messages of hope
Of the ENR Top 600 specialty contractors, more than 75% of statuses fell into this category. For the ENR Top 400 contractors, it’s closer to 85%. That’s more than three-quarters of the country’s biggest construction companies posting messages of hope and optimism during this time.
Some companies, such as Cupertino Electric, expressed appreciation for health workers: “On #WorldHealthDay, our thoughts are often with the frontline workers who are serving those who are suffering from the coronavirus.”
Morrows-Meadows offered a similar message, sharing, “In this extraordinary and rapidly changing event, we want to remind everyone to practice social distancing…Our hearts go out to all employees, friends, and families who have been impacted by coronavirus.”
Approximately 15% of ENR Top 600 specialty contractors’ statuses were outreach-related, while less than 5% of ENR Top 400 contractors’ could be classified this way. There is a small subset of companies that are using their voices to create outreach through soliciting donations, both cash and supply, and through running seminars on how to transition to remote work.
Joseph J. Albanese effectively leveraged their network to solicit donations for those fighting to flatten the curve. “This morning, we donated six hundred respirator masks and thirteen hundred safety glasses to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center to support the people that offer the best defense to contain and mitigate this pandemic. We urge our fellow contractors to donate N95 respirator masks, safety glasses, medical gloves, or other necessary personal protective equipment to your local medical center; let’s show how our industry rallies in times of need!”
Miller Bonded and other members of the construction industry have answered this call and begun their own campaigns of donating personal protective equipment.
Several companies have rolled up their sleeves and shown themselves to be partners in the fight against coronavirus. About ten percent of both ENR Top 400 contractors and ENR Top 600 specialty contractors fall into this category, setting the pace for how construction companies can help in this challenging time.
Rosendin Electric, for example, “Transformed two 1940s-era auditoriums… into specialized medical facilities complete with pressurized rooms, enhanced electrical systems, and backup power. The two buildings were renovated and outfitted within weeks.”
And American Technologies provided a free webinar to address the impacts of coronavirus on the construction industry, with a particular view on “the implications of using appropriate products, equipment, and specially trained technicians.”
The construction industry stands strong during times of crisis. While the conditions of whether or not companies are allowed to operate vary from state to state, many states have recognized construction as essential, allowing those in our industry to continue work on projects that have the potential to serve a higher purpose within our communities.