Source: Written by Lindsay McCormick, notes provided by Erica Elizabeth Eggleton
“This too will end,” said Jerry Bush about the pandemic during his keynote.
Before the pandemic, UMC, Inc. was on track to have a record year for 2020 but when Governor Inslee shut down construction projects in March, 95% of their revenue was lost overnight.
One of the first challenges they faced was getting accurate information on the virus and how to stay safe. They assembled a COVID response team but information was changing so rapidly that it was difficult to monitor what was accurate and which sources to trust. Their supply chain was disrupted by the virus with imports from China slowing down and the emotional and psychological trauma on the employees from uncertainty and isolation was another challenge.
Jerry spoke about how he tried to put people first and check in with his employees to make sure they were doing alright and how he tried to help save as many jobs as possible by putting employees on standby and putting them back to work as soon as possible.
UMC, Inc. started manufacturing portable handwashing stations for construction sites and was able to keep more people employed as they sold the handwashing stations to construction companies all over the country.
Jerry emphasized the importance of prioritizing people, accurate information, and good leadership and concluded his keynote with a message of hope.
Even though the pandemic is ongoing, there is still a lot of hope. Eventually, the pandemic will come to an end and our businesses will recover. So far, construction is rebounded faster than expected and Jerry is hopeful about UMC’s future.
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