How one SoCal Construction Co. Is Adapting to Its New Essential Role
Given that construction is an essential function that needs to continue during the California stay-at-home orders, we wanted to find how Southern California’s construction companies are adapting to “business-as-unusual” during these times.
Founded in 1902, Griffith Company of Brea, CA, is one of California’s earliest general contractors. Today, the company handles a diverse range of Southern California construction and engineering projects that have a positive impact on our region’s infrastructure, transportation, and supply chain.
Since its inception, the company has prided itself on “honesty, integrity, and a commitment to meeting obligations while exceeding expectations.” These guiding principles have never been more important now that the company’s obligations include protecting the health of its workers – and by default, the community at large – under current circumstances.
Griffith Co. Vice President Dan McGrew explained the stringent measures the company has put in place to protect the health and safety of workers on essential job sites: “We have incorporated a protocol of social distancing, proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and extensive training on cleanliness and avoidance of close contact. In addition, we have appointed a COVID-19 Response Coordinator on each project who is responsible for implementing our protocols as well as completing a newly devised COVID-19 Daily Checklist.” McGrew reports that although these protocols are “a huge departure from how we worked in the past,” Griffith’s crews are managing the changes well because “they realize the importance of our efforts in these times and are glad to be working.”
With these new protections in place, Griffith’s teams are able to work on the front lines of construction projects at the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) and Port of Long Beach (POLB) that play a critical role in maintaining and enhancing the movement of goods that supply our communities. “It is important at this time that the Ports maintain the flow of goods to ensure we have the needed resources for the country as we fight COVID-19,” McGrew explained.
On April 2, the Port of Long Beach reported that it is “working with medical suppliers, carriers, terminals, dockworkers and truckers to expedite the delivery of crucial health equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic.” The shipments, including medical gowns, gloves, face masks and other infection-control apparel manufactured in Asia, are being shepherded through marine terminals at Long Beach to rush them to distribution centers in California and beyond. “This demonstrates how crucial our Port and its stakeholders are to the city, state and nation as we weather this crisis together,” said Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners President Bonnie Lowenthal.
Outside of work at the Ports, Griffith sees all facets of work in the transportation sector as being equally essential to keeping the supply chain in motion at this time. “Whether it is widening or maintain highways, improving our airports, maintaining our passenger and freight rail systems, transportation is key to ensuring goods and services continue to flow,” noted McGrew.
As an employee-owned company, Griffth’s team keeps that crucial supply chain in mind as they respond to the ever-changing landscape. “Our team is rolling up their sleeves and adapting to the new normal. With the mission of Building California, we are focused on the tasks at hand.” said McGrew.