Home » Features » Departments » Silver Linings in the Midst of COVID-19

Silver Linings in the Midst of COVID-19

BY MICHAEL ANDERSON, CHAIR, AGC CHARITIES, INC.

It looks like the upcoming holiday season will be unlike any in recent memory, as concert halls, theaters and other gathering places are closed or curtailed because of the pandemic. Few lives, directly or indirectly (and fewer businesses), have been unaffected by COVID-19 and the measures taken to mitigate its spread. There aren’t many silvers linings in what has occurred, but two might be a greater appreciation of the simple pleasures in life that we so often take for granted and an increased desire to make sure our neighbor is doing OK.

AGC member firm The PENTA Building Group renovates a women’s shelter that is part of the Las Vegas Rescue Mission.

The construction industry was one of the fortunate few that was able — in most parts of the country — to keep working during the pandem-ic-induced lockdowns. As a result, many in our sector have not endured the numerous hardships many other small businesses are currently facing. There is certainly uncertainty about what lies ahead in the coming months, even in the construction industry, but we can all choose to activate one of those silver linings.

Many of our neighbors in local communities are hurting and the construction industry (as it always does) is stepping up to help. In Las Vegas, for example, AGC Charities, Inc. is working with local member firm The PENTA Building Group to renovate a women’s shelter that is part of the Las Vegas Rescue Mission. Since this project was first considered, the number of women and young families seeking support has grown expo-nentially because of the March shutdown of much of the local Las Vegas economy. On a different front and looking to the future of our indus-try, more and more students are struggling to finance a college or trade education. AGC Foundation scholarships directly address this challenge and are easing the financial burden for our next generation of construction professionals.

One of the indisputable facts I have come to appreciate as the chair of AGC Charities, Inc. is that contractors have tough jobs and soft hearts. Through our AGC in the Community Awards program, we get to see many amazing charitable projects being executed by member firms and AGC chapters across the country. Those member firms and chapters don’t do it for the notoriety, but because they know giving back is perhaps the most rewarding simple pleasure in life. In doing so, AGC’s construction professionals leave a lasting, positive imprint on the quality of life for individuals and local communities, while also supporting our industry’s future.

As this very challenging year begins to wind down and the holidays approach, I hope you will consider activating a silver lining by making a contribution to one or both of AGC of America’s philanthropic organizations — AGC Charities, Inc. and the AGC Education and Research Foun-dation. Any dollar you provide goes directly to support the projects and scholarships that are part of the construction industry’s effort to make sure our neighbors are OK.

My thanks to each of you for the good work and your amazing generosity. Please continue organizing charitable activities and supporting young construction students. Together, we can show our communities how grateful we are as an industry for the opportunity they give us, literally each and every day, to build the American dream. A

Michael Anderson is the chair of AGC Charities Inc. To learn more about and contribute to AGC Charities, please visit www.agccharities.org. To learn more about and contribute to the AGC Education and Research Foundation, please visit www.agc.org/learn/agc-education-and-research-foundation.