News release - March 15, 2021
Angela Crawford, Marketing Director
The Builders' Association sends letter to Missouri governor urging clarification of construction's place in the vaccination plan
Twelve associations signed on to a letter to Missouri Governor Mike Parson urging clarification of where the construction industry, declared essential at the beginning of the pandemic, fits in the vaccine distribution plan.
Just over a year ago, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a global pandemic, and the construction industry was deemed an essential industry in the emergency orders issued at the federal, state and local levels.
“The construction industry took that directive seriously and continued working,” said Allen Dillingham, Builders’ government relations director. “This kept important community, infrastructure and health care projects moving forward. Just as critical, it kept thousands of Missourians off unemployment rolls.”
Over the last few months, Missouri has rolled out the vaccine, but construction is not mentioned anywhere in the phased plan, supporting lists of industries or on the website. Leaders around construction have been questioning how an industry determined essential at all levels of government from the beginning of the pandemic now does not even register a mention on any of the recovery and vaccine plans in Missouri.
To that end, The Builders' Association | Kansas City Chapter, Associated General Contractors assembled a statewide coalition of commercial and residential construction associations to join in asking Missouri Governor Mike Parson to clarify the industry's place in the vaccination plan.
A letter was sent to the governor's office on March 11 and appears in its entirety below. A PDF is also available for download. The letter specifically asks for the construction industry to be placed under Phase 1B, Tier 3 – Critical Infrastructure.
Letter to the governor
Dear Governor Parson,
As organizations representing a broad coalition of our state’s commercial and residential construction contractors, we have supported your efforts to protect the health of Missouri citizens during this pandemic. Throughout the last year we have diligently worked under expanded safety protocols to keep Missouri moving forward. We have been committed to ensuring best work site practices to maintain economic stability, provide continuity in health care and maintain households.
A year ago, when the pandemic began, construction was deemed an essential industry in the emergency orders issued at the federal, state and local levels. We took that directive seriously and continued working. This kept important community, infrastructure and health care projects moving forward, as well as residential housing. Just as critical, it kept thousands of Missourians off unemployment rolls.
Now, the state rolls out the vaccine, we do not see construction mentioned anywhere in the phased plan, supporting lists of industries or on the website. We wish to better understand how an industry determined essential at all levels of government from the very beginning of the pandemic now does not even register a mention on any of the recovery and vaccine plans.
We all understand the state is completely reliant on the federal government for vaccine supplies. We also understand and completely agree that there are more vulnerable populations that should be prioritized to receive the vaccination. The construction industry is not asking to be placed before any health care workers on the front line; police, fire, EMT personnel; or vulnerable individuals whose health condition is especially susceptible to the COVID-19 virus. Rather, we are merely asking that your office clarify where the construction industry (commercial and residential) stands in the vaccination phased plan.
To that end, after studying the phases and supplemental documentation, we believe it is appropriate for the construction industry to be placed under Phase 1B, Tier 3 – Critical Infrastructure. We respectfully ask to be formally placed into that phase and tier, which would be consistent with previous lists of critical infrastructure providers throughout the statewide pandemic response. An announcement from your office would be helpful to communicate this to Missourians and, most importantly, construction needs to be added to the state’s vaccination sign-up website.
Your leadership is essential during this pandemic to ensure we remain healthy and our businesses continue to provide needed services and products. We are grateful for your work and guidance and the incredible work your state team has done during this challenging time. As always, our industry stands ready to assist you and your staff whenever needed. To keep important community projects and housing moving forward, our families safe, and a commitment to an essential industry, we respectfully ask for this clarification.
The Builders’ Association
Kansas City Chapter, AGC
AGC of Missouri
Associated Builders & Contractors, Inc., Heart of America Chapter
Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City
Hispanic Contractors Association of Greater Kansas City
Minority Contractors Association of Greater Kansas City
Springfield Contractors Association
Mechanical Contractors Association – Kansas City
Kenneth C. Borden
National Electrical Contractors Association, Kansas City Chapter
Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association, Kansas City
Independent Electrical Contractors of Greater St. Louis
About The Builders’ Association
The Builders’ Association is a nonprofit commercial construction trade association serving hundreds of member companies that employ over 25,000 people in mid-America. Since 1887, The Builders’ Association has advanced the construction industry and served as a catalyst for collaboration by connecting passionate people and businesses, with a vision of improving lives through construction.
About the Kansas City Chapter, Associated General Contractors of America
The association’s sister organization, the Kansas City Chapter, Associated General Contractors of America, currently represents more than 100 firms in the heartland region and is part of the AGC of America, the largest and oldest national construction trade association in the United States.
Visit The Builders’ Association online at www.buildersassociation.com and connect with them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.