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No single one of us will have the answers here – this is going to take a community.

In mid March we all found ourselves waking up to the full impact of the pandemic. In a matter of days our lives, both personal and work, were turned upside down.

We were not taken totally by surprise but, as we began to take stock of everything that had just been dropped on our laps, we quickly realized that none of us had any chapters in our playbook that we could refer to. We were basically looking at uncharted waters that were shifting every few hours as the crisis and its impact unfolded realtime.

Our first instinct was to reach out and strike up some interesting conversations that all pointed to one common thought –

No single one of us will have the answers here – this is going to take a community.

We also had calls with members and industry stakeholders to address the situation and understand its implications from each one’s perspective as we began to craft a response.

As it ended up – it was indeed ALL about Community –

Our COVID Industry Leaders call on March 18th with over 25 key individuals from across the industry led to the creation of the Pandemic Planning document which was recognized across the country as a resource guide for all who were seeking to respond. The first version was published 2 days later on March 20th and it went on to receive 3 other major updates. With a looming threat of construction sites being closed down due to COVID safety this document and the unprecedented collaboration behind it, were instrumental in avoiding such a detrimental outcome.

Our conversations with CAA, CEA, ACA, ATCC and ECA became the Alberta Joint Industry Response Team (AJIRT). This group has been instrumental in aligning the voices of Architects, Engineers, General Contractors, Trades and Suppliers as we focussed on what “back to work” would look like for each stakeholder while also collectively lobbying the province on behalf of industry.

Meanwhile in our own backyard in Calgary we reached out to our partners from our Business Hub community and March 19th saw the first call with Michelle Berg of Elevated HR where she was able to respond live to members who tuned in with questions on the HR implications for their organization as everything unfolded. Over 30 calls later we wrapped up last Wednesday with a lessons learned discussion that really outlined the journey that we have been on and captured some meaningful thoughts that will feature in our future.

We had 2 legal webinars dealing with risk and force majeure that over 300 people signed up for.

Mental Heath, finance, bonding and insurance also featured during the last 4 months as we sought out subject matter experts that were willing to lend their expertise and insight to help our members fight the fires and navigate our emerging new world.

Thank you to all of our partners who participated in these sessions – on behalf of our members and our industry we appreciate the value that you provided in these sessions.

  Michelle Berg, CEO

 

  Bill Woodhead, Partner

 

  Robert Schuett, Lawyer

 

  Jeremy Ellergodt, Associate

 

  Dylan Hughes, Partner    Troy Laursen, Senior Manager    Donna Carson, CIRP, LIT, CPA, CGA    Jory Soubiran, Management Consultant and Business Advisor

 

  Bob Sloat, Regional Directory- Western Canada

 

  Trent Percy, Surety Director- Prairies Intact Insurance Company

 

  Donna Anderson, Vice President Prairie Region- Trisure Guarantee Insurance Company

So, here we are. Four months later, tired, a little dazed and nobody I know, including myself, can remember February!

“What’s next?” you may well ask.

The CCA team is in the process of putting together a program that will be looking at how to consolidate and build on some of the key lessons that we have learned while also looking at what we will have to act upon to move forward in what we are calling – Normal 2.0

Our partners and participants from the last four months and others will feature in these sessions and we will be looking to start in September.

For now take some time to reflect on the year to date and also try to take some time to refresh over the summer – I think the fall will need us to be ready.  Remember – we feel tired for a very good reason. Our energy reserves were well tapped into over the four months as we were literally writing the script as we went. We were on full alert 24/7 and adrenaline burns a lot more fuel than regular pace.

Many of us were being parents, teachers, employees and leaders all at the same time – the lines blurred and our virtual Zoom calls (up to 9 in one day for some of us) blended into one 4 month long treadmill of content and virtual activity.

Despite the testing nature of this pandemic, which will be talked about for years to come, we have once again witnessed the resilience of this great industry. This is a rich testament to the men and women, the leaders and the teams that make up the organizations that are all part of the this great construction industry.

We would not be more proud to have been able to serve you all throughout this period and we will continue to do so as we approach the next phase.

Stay safe and healthy.

On behalf of your great team at CCA

Article by Lena Hogarth
July 30, 2020

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