This article is part of a series of conversations that Construction Dive editors are having with industry leaders about the effect that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on their firms and their markets. To add your voice to the discussion, email us here.
Rye Brook, New York-based AA Jedson Co. constructs restaurants, fitness centers and stores in the New York area and beyond. Here, president Michael Bordes, talks about layoffs, material shortages and new types of work for his 40-year-old firm.
How has the coronavirus affected your firm?
We had some non-essential projects put on hold temporarily, but thankfully we had some projects that we were able to continue because they were part of the essential work. Unfortunately I did lay off a majority of my office staff within a week of the outbreak. We've brought back about 70% of them so far.
The vendors that we deal with have been incredible to work with as far as being open and having material available so we have not had a shortage except for sanitizer, paper towels and toilet paper. We have employees that were hesitant about working, which we understood, and we rotated some subcontractors to make sure the essential projects kept moving along.
What measures have you put in place to be ready to get back to work once the crisis is over?
We have been providing proper PPE gear for all of our employees and subcontractors so our clients, as well as our staff, are fully protected. We also have a thermometer and one of our project managers will be taking temperatures for all employees and subcontractors on arrival to each job.
How will you keep workers safe going forward?
I think it’s important to continue to implement temperature taking, masks, gloves and other PPE measures to continue to ensure the safety of our employees, subcontractors and clients. At this time, we will remain safe and secure until the governor decides we can work again. We don't know the direction of this pandemic or when it can return so our priority is to keep everyone safe and healthy.
What are your biggest concerns as construction begins to reboot?
I think it will be a slow start to get projects going again, more from a financial perspective because everyone has been on somewhat of a financial hold. So to get started in all areas, spending is going to be gradual, but I feel positive that things will eventually fall back into place.
Anything else we should know about your company or your market?
We are researching new trends that will be a result of this pandemic and the change in market and are excited to work on and execute new projects as a result of change. For instance, I think we will have a good opportunity to start building home offices and exercise studios in homes as well and other new types of business for a home model.