We are all in unchartered territories. As each day passes, we understand that our members are confronted with new challenges as a result of COVID-19. The staff at ABC Eastern Pennsylvania is committed to providing our members with the most recent updates and valuable resources related to addressing COVID-19 and the health, safety and business challenges it presents. The following are our regular updates from most recent to our first one, on March 12, 2020.
We also have a webpage dedicated specifically to valuable resources related to COVID-19 that is updated frequently. Please click here to visit this page.
If you would like to be included on our regular emails or have information or a resource to provide, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update - April 23, 2020
PA CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY RESTART DATE MOVED UP TO MAY 1
Gov. Wolf announced Wednesday that public and private construction projects can proceed throughout the Commonwealth on May 1. This announcement follows House action early this week, including the bipartisan passage of House Bill 2400, authored by Representative Mike Turzai.
Update - April 22, 2020
On Monday, April 20, Gov. Wolf announced that construction with strict guidelines will re-open on May 8.
Public and private residential and non-residential construction may resume statewide starting Friday, May 8, in accordance with safety guidance that will be issued by the administration shortly. Construction projects already deemed life-sustaining may continue while adhering to social distancing, personnel limits and other guidance as announced by the administration.
COVID-19 SAFETY STAND-DOWN TO BE HELD APRIL 23
As a member of the Construction Industry Safety Coalition, ABC National has been working diligently to provide coalition members with jobsite safety information on COVID-19, which includes the development of the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Plan for Construction.
As a group, CISC member organizations decided that the next step is to come together for COVID-19 Safety Stand-down events nationwide, with events held by individual employers to talk directly to workers about coronavirus safe work practices and protocols on construction sites.
ABC is hosting COVID-19 Stand-downs on Thursday, April 23 to provide an opportunity to persuade employers and workers in construction to ensure their behavior keeps them safe and slows the spread of the virus.
Due to ongoing disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, ABC has cancelled Legislative Week as an in-person event and will offer elements of the program virtually, as outlined below and detailed in the link below.
National Executive Committee Meeting: Will be held virtually on June 15 from 2-5 p.m. EDT
National Committee Meetings: To be scheduled virtually at the discretion of the committee chair.
National Board of Directors Meeting: Will be held virtually on June 16 from 3-5 p.m. EDT
Diversity and Inclusion Summit: Postponed until ABC Legislative Week 2021. In lieu of the 2020 in-person event, ABC will be offering a series of webinars on diversity best practices. See details in the link below.
Young Professionals Symposium: Cancelled. Will resume in person at ABC Legislative Week 2021.
Free Enterprise Alliance Reception: Cancelled. Will resume in person at ABC Legislative Week 2021.
Legislative Day and Call to Action: A virtual Legislative Day Briefing will be held June 17 at 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. EDT. Details and how to sign up included in link below.
Legal Conference: To be held virtually on June 18 from 12:45 - 5:30 p.m. EDT. Details in link below.
IN THE NEWS...IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY
Here are some recent stories in which ABC Eastern PA leadership and our members have been interviewed regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the construction industry:
CENTRAL PENN BUSINESS JOURNAL - Central Penn Business Journal published an article on the safe reopening of the construction industry in PA. Member Richard Reppert of R L Reppert, Inc was quoted as well as Chapter President & CEO Joe Perpiglia.
Update - April 8, 2020
Help support H.B. 2400 and S.B. 1105. We believe this legislation will provide equity and fairness for ABC members who choose to continue their business operations. Please use the form on the link below to contact your state officials to ask for their support.
The ABC Pennsylvania chapters have joined together to lead an effort to create a Construction Safety Task Force to provide guidance, best practices and standards for the construction industry both during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. More information to come on this task force. Click the link below to view a recent press release on the task force and the support of relevant legislation.
Update - April 3, 2020
Tuesday, April 7 at 11:00 a.m.
Join Jade Simmers, Director of Risk Management at member company, HMK Insurance, for a 30-minute session on worker safety. He will focus on OSHA's two most recent guidance documents, OSHA 3989 (Preventing Worker Exposure to COVID-19) & OSHA 3990 (Guidance for Preparing the Workplace for COVID-19), on preparing the workplace for, and avoiding employee exposure to the COVID-19 virus. Additionally, he will discuss current CDC guidelines and allow for a Q&A session with industry professionals.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) developed planning guidance on prevention of exposure to infectious diseases based on traditional infection prevention and industrial hygiene practices. It focuses on the need for employers to implement engineering, administrative, and work practice controls and personal protective equipment (PPE).
The course introduces the student to the Infectious Disease Prevention and Response (IDPR) Plan for controlling COVID-19 and other infectious diseases in the workplace. The course provides a general awareness of COVID-19 preventative measures, OSHA's COVID-19 Webpage, and the CDC's COVID-19 Information Website.
It is a 2-hour course. You can create a log-in for free and take the course. If you want a certificate, you can choose which one to pay for after you have completed the course (you don't have to buy one).
Update - March 30, 2020
LAST WEEK'S HIGHLIGHTS
Our staff is hard at work to get our members back to work!
More than 500 messages have been sent into the Governor's office over the past week from ABC members through ABC PA's Action Alert.
A letter written by ABC PA and signed by more than 20 Pennsylvania construction industry organizations was sent to the Governor's office, legislative leaders and key committee members to recognize residential and commercial construction as a life-sustaining business.
If you haven't submitted a waiver to the Department of Community and Economic Development for your company to continue to work during this COVID-19 shutdown, you can find the waiver form on the DCED's main website.
COVID-19 WORKING CAPITAL ACCESS PROGRAM
Governor Wolf announced a new load program for small businesses adversely impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak this week. The COVID-19 Working Capital Access Program (CWCA) is available to small business enterprises who are for-profit corporations, limited liability companies, partnership, proprietorships or other legal business entities located in Pennsylvania and having 100 or fewer full-time employees worldwide at the time of submission of the application.
The program provides working capital, which for purposes of this program is considered capital used by a small business for operations, excluding fixed assets and production machinery and equipment. Please review the following links:
All CWCA loan applications must be submitted through a Certified Economic Development Organization (CEDO). Please contact your CEDO for additional questions or assistance with completing the application. For the list of CEDO’s operating within Pennsylvania, click here.
DOL FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT
The U.S. Department of Labor will be hosting a national online dialogue to provide employers and employees with an innovative opportunity to offer their perspective as the Department develops compliance assistance materials and outreach strategies related to the implementation of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The ideas and comments gathered from this dialogue will inform compliance assistance guidance, resources, and tools, as well as outreach approaches, that assist employers and employees in understanding their responsibilities and rights under the FFCRA. We need your input by March 29, 2020. Anybody who is interested can participate online from March 23 through March 29, 2020.
The Department issued a news release with additional guidance on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
Additionally, there are resources available on the Division’s webpage regarding paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
Should you have additional questions, please contact the Wage and Hour Division at 1-866-4-USWAGE.
Update - March 25, 2020
We understand you have lots of questions right now. We are listening and working with members who are experts in areas, such as legal, HR, accounting, and much more to bring you webinars and other resources to help answer your questions. Below are a conference call and a webinar we are offering this week where chapter members will be sharing their expertise on the legal impacts of COVID-19.
COVID-19: Best Practices for Your Construction Company to Deal with the Pandemic
Thursday, March 26, 2020
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Speaker: Josh Quinter, Principal, Offit Kurman
Skype Call-in Information: https://meet.lync.com/offitkurman/jquinter/KHC38Z8H
833-729-3755, Pass: 747102017#
Coronavirus Employment Law Update
Friday, March 27, 2020
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Speaker: Jonathan Landesman, Attorney, Cohen Seglias
For a comprehensive list of COVID-19 resources, visit our website.
Update - March 23, 2020
Member company Cohen Seglias provides legal forms to help contractors navigate through the effects of COVID-19 in their businesses. Click here for more information and a copy of the forms.
Good Morning ABC Eastern Pennsylvania Members,
Since early last week, we have been monitoring not only the health impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak, but we have also been closely monitoring state and federal decisions that impact your business. We want to be a resource for you.
In addition to these email updates, we are posting COVID-19 updates on our website homepage and also on our ABC Eastern PA social media channels.
I ask that if you have not connected with me personally on LinkedIn, please do so as soon as possible. This is where I’m sharing the most up-to-date information on the impact of COVID-19 on the construction industry.
We understand that you have many questions and we are communicating with state and local legislators to find out the answers. If you have specific questions you would like us to ask, please contact me.
We also are speaking with members of the media and would like to hear from you on how this is impacting your business. If you have applied for a waiver to continue to do business, please let me know how the process is going or if you have been granted a waiver in PA or permission to work in any other state.
Thank you. We will continue to keep you updated.
President & CEO
ABC Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter
Update - March 20, 2020
Action Needed to Prevent Construction From Shutting Down
Last evening, Governor Tom Wolf issued an unprecedented executive order closing all non-life sustaining businesses, including the construction industry, until further notice. The full list of businesses that may or may not continue operations can be found here.
The order states that enforcement actions will be taken against businesses who are out of compliance as of 12:01 a.m. Saturday, March 21. Penalties for non-compliance can include citations, fines, and license suspensions.
ABC is sharing resources, exploring options, and encouraging members to take action. If your business has questions about the order or wishes to seek a waiver from the order, please see the information below:
Waiver: The Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) has established a waiver process. ABC PA has been in direct communication with the DCED throughout this evolving situation. The waiver form is located on the DCED's main website, that link can be located here.
General Questions: If you have questions about whether your business needs to close, you can email: email@example.com
In general, we are alarmed the Governor’s executive order is open-ended, overly broad, and will have severe consequences on the construction industry. We need you to contact the Governor today! Click here to make your voice heard.
Update - March 19, 2020
Gov. Wolf Orders Closure of All Non-Life-Sustaining Businesses
Gov. Tom Wolf orders all non-life-sustaining businesses in Pennsylvania to close physical locations to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
The deadline to shut down is 8:00 p.m. Thursday!
Wolf said enforcement actions against businesses that do not comply with the order will begin at 12:01 a.m. Saturday.
Update - March 18, 2020
Chapter Facilities will Remain Closed until April 1, 2020
All ABC Eastern Pennsylvania facilities (East Norriton, Harleysville and Lehigh Valley) will remain closed until April 1, 2020.
Coronavirus Update Webpage for Employer Resources
In order to keep members up to date and provide access to accurate information from trusted sources, ABC National created the Coronavirus Update webpage. The webpage provides links to valuable resources from organizations, such as:
Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)
Littler Mendelson (ABC National's General Council)
U.S. Department of Labor
Occupational Safety & Health Administration
Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commissioners
Small Business Administration
Additional Resources (click links below):
Senate Passes House's Coronavirus Aid Bill
Yesterday, the Senate passed the House's coronavirus aid package, on a 90-8 vote. The bill now goes to the President, who is expected to sign it. The bill, in part, creates two paid leave programs that employers under 500 must offer. The first is 10-days of paid sick leave in addition to an employer's current policy. The second is changes to the Family Medical Leave Act, where covered employers will need to provide 12-weeks of job-protected leave. The first two weeks can be unpaid, the 10 remaining weeks would be paid at a reduced rate. Employers under 50 can apply for waivers. Employers will receive a tax credit equal to 100% of the wages paid-out. The bill requires the Secretary of Labor to provide a notice summarizing the provisions that employers must post.
Urgent: Masks & Safety Glasses Needed for Healthcare Workers
Here is a chance for construction companies to jump and help prevent the spread of this disease. We need to protect our healthcare workers so that they can continue to care for the sick. Toll Brothers is taking collections of masks (all kinds even dust masks) and safety glasses (N95 and full face masks preferred, but everything is valuable) at their Design Studio in Plymouth Meeting. The address is: 1777 Sentry Parkway West VEVA, Building 14, Suite 100, Blue Bell, PA 19422.
Update - March 16, 2020
With the health and safety of our members, students and staff as a top priority, we have closed our facilities in East Norriton, Allentown and Harleysville until March 30 per Governor Wolf’s announcement this afternoon. All three facilities were deep-cleaned on Friday. Our staff is working on bringing some of our classes online, so please stay tuned. You can check our events and class pages for updates and we will also be sending regular updates via email. Please contact the appropriate staff member via email (links are below under staff pictures) with any questions.
The ABC Convention in Nashville has been rescheduled for August 17-19, 2020. Click here for more info.
Thank you for your patience during this time of uncertainty.
Update - March 12, 2020
ABC Eastern Pennsylvania Members:
As new developments arise each day about the Coronavirus (COVID-19), we wanted to let you know that the health and safety of our members, students and staff are a top priority. We are talking to experts and reviewing best practices from federal, state and local government agencies, like the CDC, to determine the necessary steps we need to take to prevent the spread of this virus.
At this point, we are only cancelling one event, our Workforce Development Career Night that was scheduled to take place in our Suburban Philadelphia office on Thursday, March 12. All other events and classes are still taking place, but we will monitor this situation on a daily basis to determine if other events or classes need to be cancelled.
We are currently consulting experts on and beginning deep-cleaning practices to ensure our facilities are cleaned and have the necessary protocols in place to protect from the spread of COVID-19.
Following the CDC's recommendations, we suggest the following:
Stay home from work if sick or symptomatic
Practice good hygiene at home and work (stop handshaking, regularly wash hands, avoid touching faces, use a tissue or the inside of your elbow when coughing or sneezing, disinfect surfaces)
Avoid close contact with others
Limit face-to-face meetings. Leverage videoconferencing when possible.
Print, post and share information about prevention tips throughout your facility
Increase cleaning protocols within your facilities.
We appreciate everyone's cooperation and support during this period. We will continue to notify you of any changes and keep you updated via email and social media. We apologize for any inconveniences, but our primary focus, is the health and safety of our community.
President & CEO
ABC Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter