When I first became president back in March 2020, a lifetime ago, I talked about how getting engaged in AGC of America was key to making our association successful. I want to say thank you for proving me right.
Since then, tens of thousands of you engaged with AGC of America to deliver a string of accomplishments that allowed our industry to keep working, keep learning and keep us connecting with the people we need to remain successful.
During the early days of the pandemic, thousands of members engaged through our voter voice system and sent over 64,000 messages to federal officials about the need to recognize construction as essential. Your engagement helped us convince federal officials that construction is essential. This empowered state and local leaders to keep America building in most of the country.
Your engagement helped us secure billions in tax incentives and new construction investments to help firms weather the worst of the pandemic. And your engagement made sure the construction industry qualified for important federal recovery and relief programs.
Your engagement didn’t just help us be more effective advocates, however. It also helped us to keep members informed and educated during a season of constant change and endless challenge. Ninety-six thousand employees of member firms took advantage of our daily coronavirus updates, webinars, special reports and our dedicated COVID-19 website to get the latest information on developments and safety procedures.
Thousands of member firms took part in our coronavirus and vaccine awareness safety stand downs. And nearly 10,000 people, so far, have taken a host of AGC courses that we took virtual after the coronavirus made in-seat classes all but impossible.
As successful as we have been, we still have a lot of work to do.
We need members to engage to help us push back on needless new regulatory burdens and dangerous measures like the PRO Act. We need members to engage as we work to rebuild our shattered materials supply chain and address skyrocketing prices for key construction components.
We need members to engage to make our workplaces and jobsites even safer and healthier. We need to spend as much time, for example, on mental health and safety as we do physical health and safety. We need members to engage as we work to create a more diverse and inclusive industry.
We need members to engage with our new climate change initiative. Improving how we build will help. But influencing what our owners want built will make a substantial difference. And we need members to engage in our ambitious workforce development efforts.
We have seen, time and again, that the best way to ensure a better future for our industry is by engaging with AGC. Engagement is how we survived the months of lock downs and closures that affected so many other parts of our economy.
Engagement is how we kept our workers safe and protected communities from the spread of the coronavirus. Engagement is how we are rebuilding the American economy and reviving our industry.
Engagement is how we are preparing the next generation of industry leaders. And engagement is exactly how we are going to build a stronger, more prosperous future for our country, for our firms and for our association.
Thanks to your engagement, I am confident that when my term comes to an end in March, our country will be more prosperous, our firms even busier and our association even stronger than it is today.