We wanted to share some updates to questions posed to the PA Department of Labor and Industry.
Must construction on health care related facilities and required inspections stop?
Construction on health care facilities has been determined to be life sustaining business; therefore, code inspections services required for these activities should be considered life sustaining activities as well.
Must installation of emergency tents on hospital grounds for coronavirus screening and required inspections stop?
Inspection on emergency tents is also considered life sustaining business and may continue.
Municipal employees doing plan reviews and inspections may continue, but must third parties must down?
Third party agencies are permitted to continue to provide inspections for limited circumstances that include health care facilities, emergency repairs and work that is being conducted in connection with a DCED waiver found at the following link: online waiver application
Municipalities are informing third parties that they expect them to continue performing their contracted duties. How should third parties respond to this?
Third party agencies should indicate that they are permitted to continue to provide inspections for limited circumstances that include health care facilities, emergency repairs and work that is being conducted in connection with a DCED waiver in an effort to continue those services requested by the municipality.
Inspections were already scheduled when the order to shut down was issued. Can these still be performed?
Continued inspections would be dependent on the structures and use, and whether it is classified as an emergency repair. Currently the main exception is for health care facilities and emergency repairs to commercial and residential structures. If a construction project has received a waiver through DCED to continue work on the project, then inspections may continue.
What should contractors who have ignored the order be told when they are requesting inspections?
Contractors who ignore the order and request an inspection should be denied that request, and the requestor should be reminded of the governor’s orders that have suspended construction activities throughout the Commonwealth with the exception of healthcare facilities and emergency repairs to commercial and residential structures. The contractor should be advised to seek a waiver from DCED for the project/work.
What should be the response to homeowners (doing their own work not covered by the order) when they call for an inspection?
Repair and/or maintenance for customers in their homes is allowable under the Personal and Household Goods Repair and Maintenance section of the Governor’s order. Any inspection request that does not fall under this category should be denied unless the homeowner has secured a waiver from DCED.
We know that the news is moving so quickly that none of us can keep up and we appreciate all that you are doing to try and amplify the PBA message. In at least one area, we are becoming victims of our own success. Legislators are telling us that member emails are clogging their systems and preventing them from seeing other important messages. A few individuals may view that as a good thing. It isn’t. We have informed House and Senate leadership that we will not send further emails demanding legislative action. PLEASE DO NOT CONTINUE EMAILING LEGISLATORS.
I apologize if I sound rude; but it is vital that we don’t burn bridges with our legislative friends. We recognize that none of us “control” our members. Nevertheless, each of us has some measure of influence. Please understand that PBA wants you to stop emailing their elected officials immediately. Instead, please lean on the waiver process administered by DCED.
From President Jon Sukonik: "PBA has requested all its members stand down on the email call to action as our message was received loud and clear. Legislators have told us that further emails will do more harm than good. As members of the Association I am asking you to heed our request and allow the waiver process to work as intended. Abusive actions being taken by industry members is undermining our attempt to gain relief from the Governor’s office. In this time of health crisis, we need to be a cohesive industry focusing on the public health, safety and welfare not on economic interests. PBA has been pursuing assistance based upon the public safety concerns associated with partially built product and the issues associated with buyers in transition between homes with nowhere live."
Thank you all for your support during this challenging time.
Dan Durden, CEO
Pennsylvania Builders Association
WAIVER EXTENSION, REVISED TIMING OF ENFORCEMENT: Monday, March 23 at 8:00 AM
March 20, 2020
Updated Business Guidance
Business Waiver Application Form
FAQ on Business Guidance
Harrisburg, PA – Due to the high volume of waiver requests, the Wolf Administration is delaying enforcement of Governor Tom Wolf’s order and the Secretary of Health’s order that all non-life-sustaining businesses in Pennsylvania must close their physical locations to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Per Governor Wolf’s and Dr. Levine’s orders, businesses that were non-life sustaining were ordered to close their physical locations on March 19, at 8:00 PM. This order stands, only the enforcement timing will change and become effective on Monday, March 23, at 8:00 AM.
Those businesses requesting clarification on whether they are defined as life-sustaining should check this list, email the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) customer service resource account at email@example.com, or call 1-877-PA-HEALTH and select option 1 to reach DCED staff. For businesses that determine from the list that they are non-life sustaining, but would like to seek a waiver, there is an online waiver application.
When a business completes a waiver form, a team of professionals at DCED will review each request and respond based on the guiding principle of balancing public safety while ensuring the continued delivery of critical infrastructure services and functions. Those requesting a waiver will be notified via email if their operations may re-open. Businesses applying for a waiver must remain closed until a decision is made about their application.
DCED offers working capital loans that could be of assistance to businesses impacted by COVID-19. Resources and information will be posted to http://dced.pa.gov/resources as they become available. Yesterday, Governor Wolf announced the availability of low-interest loans for small businesses and eligible non-profits in all 67 counties in Pennsylvania through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, Pennsylvanians should follow www.governor.pa.gov and www.doh.pa.gov.
We realize that you all have many questions and concerns over the order from the Governor’s office concerning business closures.
Please know that the PBA staff and leadership is working to find solutions to these challenges. We are talking with large and small builders, Executive Officers from across the state, state organizations representing related industries, NAHB, and elected officials at all levels. As of now, we don’t have a lot of information, but we are doing everything possible to get you answers and clarifications. The last thing we want to do is give you inaccurate or misleading information.
Members who want to seek a waiver regarding the Governor’s closure order may email RAfirstname.lastname@example.org. To maximize your chances for success, we encourage you to stress the life, safety and health consequences of your inability to continue current work. Business owners who are not sure if they should close should use this email address email@example.com.
Again, we will provide additional information as soon as we have more.
Thank you for your patience and please know that PBA is working for you.
Jon Sukonik, 2020 President
PBA Members and Friends:
We regret that the news relating to the COVID-19 virus (novel coronavirus) continues to be negative. Specifically, the Governor has issued an administrative order closing ALL “Non-Life-Sustaining Businesses.” The Governor’s office has supplied a list of those Non-Life-Sustaining Businesses. Specifically identified are “Residential Building Construction” and all of the trades relating to our industry. The Governor’s order goes into effect at 8:00 p.m. on March 19th. Beginning Saturday the 21st at midnight, various state enforcement agencies will ensure that businesses do not attempt to violate the order.
We encourage all members to comply with the Governor’s order as expeditiously as possible. We will do our best to keep you informed of any changes in the business landscape affecting our members. On behalf of the PBA leadership, we wish that you stay safe.
CLICK HERE FOR A LIST OF THE "LIFE-SUSTAINING BUSINESSES"
PBA received the following message from the Pennsylvania Health Care Association. We are hearing this on a national level, but this is a good connection right here in the Commonwealth. Please help if you are able.
I’m Zach Shamberg, the President & CEO of the Pennsylvania Health Care Association (PHCA).
Here at PHCA, our membership consists of Pennsylvania’s long-term care providers: nursing homes, personal care homes and assisted living residences. We represent providers and hard-working staff, as well as the residents of these facilities.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, our providers have been working tirelessly to protect their residents and mitigate the spread of this terrible virus. But this has been a real challenge thus far – and it will only get more difficult.
for staff and residents.
But they’re running low. Gowns, masks, gloves and goggles are in high demand, yet there is currently a very limited supply.
I am asking you and your membership to consider donating any PPE supplies that aren't immediately needed – especially gowns, masks, gloves and goggles (whether they are surgical, N95 or other) – to help our caregivers on the front lines who are protecting Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable population from this virus.
If you and your membership would like to donate PPE supplies, please reach out to Shayna Varner, our Director of Communications, at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can coordinate your donation to ensure providers most in need receive these supplies.
Thank you for your consideration.
President & CEO
PA Health Care Association
Pursuant to the swiftly changing environment surrounding the COVID-19 virus (coronavirus) and the latest order issued by the governor, PBA’s office will be closed to the public for the next two weeks. All those of you in “nonessential” businesses know exactly what we’re going through.
The PBA staff will continue to work but will operate primarily on a remote basis for at least the remainder of the month of March. That does not mean that PBA will never be in the office or that we will be totally unavailable. We will attempt to be as responsive to your communications as circumstances allow. But disruptions and delays will occur. So please, go ahead and call, send that email or text. Just don’t expect an immediate response because we may not be available. For the duration of the health crisis, email is probably the communications mode best calculated to reach us. In any event, we will try to get back to you as soon as possible.
We know that the spread of the virus and the many closings ordered by local, state and national officials presents a novel challenge to many of your businesses. We will be as happy as everyone else when this strange and trying situation comes to an end. You have our best wishes to outlast this test.
PBA will continue to monitor breaking news and will respond as wisely and astutely as we can. We encourage everyone do what they can to slow and prevent the spread of the virus. In the meantime, PBA staff will not be attending any meetings in person. That said, we’re more than happy to schedule a conference call.
To the extent we can, we will provide further updates. We don’t want to inundate you with the exact same news that you are getting from traditional news sources; but we want to give you the best information we have regarding PBA and its operations.
Let’s stay strong and battle our way through this. Best regards to all.
A Word from the PWB Council By Rebecca Turner
Getting the Most out of the New NAHB Website
Did you know that now, more than ever, NAHB.org can help increase your membership benefits? The completely redesigned and redevelopment website is your tool to reaching new clients, new friends, education sessions and becoming more visible to the online community. The site features an upgraded search engine and an updated secure e-commerce engine.
Ever met someone at a meeting and wanted to connect or wanted to know more about someone’s company background? Maybe you want someone to discover your unique product and professional background. With the new and improved member profile section you can do just that. The enhancements that have been made to this section provide networking opportunities and a superior engagement experience. First thing to do is check your profile, it is simple to do, just sign in to www.NAHB.org and then click edit profile. If you had an old profile your basic information was brought over. The new features include adding a short bio which can introduce you professionally, adding your company website and social media links and then your profile picture. Once you have updated all your information make sure you save it so that it can be added to the easy-to-use directory. Now potential customers and new friends can find you.
Without a login into your account on NAHB.org you could be missing out of some membership benefits. Who knew that you can create an Amazon Business account and have access to NAHB Amazon Store? The Amazon Store can tailor products to your specific industry while unlocking business savings. Your dashboard is your access to all NAHB benefits.
Want to know what purchases you have made, what associations you belong to, or need to pay a bill? It is all right there for you on your dashboard along with your all-important NAHB pin and those precious SPIKE points.
This section of the dashboard took my fancy! Now I know why I was always sitting there wondering why I wasn’t so updated as the person talking in our meetings. They are getting information pushed to them on important topics that they have selected. This is one easy step but gives you such a wealth of knowledge. Select those topics of interest to you and get that extra boost in your knowledge and education.
Professional Women in Building
Now your profile and dashboard are all set up it is time to get the most out of your PWB Membership. By navigation to www.nahb.org/NAHB-Community/Councils/Professional-Women-in-Building-Council you will find access to up and coming events, articles, and latest publications of the Building Women magazine, available scholarships and you can learn all about those generous PWB sponsors we have. Once you have navigated and explored; let’s not leave it there. Make sure you are linked to all the PWB social media handles. Let’s share our experiences, show each other all our exciting chapter events and get connected on a national level.
If you find yourself having a wee bit of trouble with the website or updating any of your information have no fear as you can email email@example.com. and someone will get back to you to assist. Make sure you scroll through the directory and see you updated profile loaded.
The rapidly changing series of events surrounding the spread of the COVID-19 contagion (coronavirus) has presented a great challenge to all of us. PBA is continually monitoring the situation and reacting as best we can. We encourage all our members to engage in the safest of practices for the duration of this public health problem. At present, PBA plans to continue its normal office practices. However, as events dictate, we may be forced to adopt remote working arrangements or suspend working on certain projects. We will try to keep you informed. In the very short term, we are cancelling all staff travel to large meetings both within and outside the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Our staff may engage in “social distancing” in interactions with you. Please do not presume that this is a negative reflection on our relationship with you. For now, we prefer to love you from afar.
As you attempt to implement the best practices for your own businesses, we encourage you to rely upon reliable, informed sources such as the Centers for Disease Control – https://www.cdc.gov/ - rather than whatever you may see on social media. Don’t hesitate to check out the resources available from NAHB – https://www.nahb.org/Advocacy/Industry-Issues/Emergency-Preparedness-and-Response/Coronavirus-Preparedness - and the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry – https://www.pachamber.org/coronavirus/.
As we learn more, we will endeavor to keep you informed. Both now and in the future, we hope that you will make efforts to keep yourselves, your family members, your customers and your employees healthy. One way to make the situation worse is to needlessly risk sharing your own infection with others.
As they used to say on the old Hill Street Blues television show, “Let’s be careful out there.”
Grande Construction in West Lawn, PA is a successful family business. Laura Grande is a huge part of that success. Her passion and commitment are fantastic examples of professionalism. She is dedicated to her clients and the community. Laura, a member of both the HBA of Berks County and the BIA of Lancaster County, steps into the spotlight today as part of PBA’s celebration of Women in Construction Week.
What is your current position and what does your company do?
I am with Grande Construction Company in West Lawn, PA. We’re a residential construction company in Berks and Lancaster County with nine active developments. A lot of the work we do, especially inside the home, is custom in nature and catered to our clients’ wishes. I work with all of our clients guiding them through the entire process – from the initial lot purchase to designing floor plans, interior design, walkthroughs, and settlement. In my current position as Controller, I’m responsible for running day to day operations of Grande Construction and work hand-in-hand with new homeowners designing their dream home. My goal is to make the whole process as transparent and enjoyable to every one of my clients.
When did you realize you wanted to work in construction?
We’ve always been a hard-working family business built on strong morals and loyalty. Growing up with my father, mother, and siblings a lot of important decisions were made at the dinner table and brought us together. My father’s passion for the industry has driven me to strive for the best in all I do. I share that same passion. I love the day-to-day challenges and most of all just love providing people with a top-quality home that exceeds their expectations.
What has been the most surprising part of being a woman working in construction?
As a woman in man’s world, I feel that I’ve earned the respect of my male/female co-workers through my hard work and dedication.
What is your favorite part of your career?
There are many favorite parts to this career. The acquisition process, finding new land assets, laying out the plans for a new development, and working with homeowners from start to finish. It’s a great feeling to seeing the community come together with each development we build. Meeting with buyers at the initial meeting of the building process, assisting every step of the way with schedules and designs, and knowing at the end the finished product is their dream home.
What advice would you give someone starting out?
Learn from the experience, embrace challenges and obstacles, ask questions, don't be afraid to fail as there is always a solution, put 120% into every day. Treat each home as it was your own, and each client as family.
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