Electrical Contractors Plug In for a New Landscape – Business Journal Daily

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – As economic activity resumes, electrical contractors anticipate that practices put in place to combat COVID-19 will endure long after the outbreak is over.

“Some of these precautions put in place because of this illness will remain in place,” says Eric Carlson, president of Joe Dickey Electric Inc., North Lima.

Retaining many of these changes is probably not a bad thing, he says. “I hope it’s an eye-opening experience for everyone involved.”

Among the lasting effects of the pandemic will be a focus on encouraging sick workers to stay home so they can recover and not infect others, says Becky Bertuzzi, director of marketing for VEC Electric at Girard. .

Bertuzzi foresees a gradual restart of the construction market, with a reset of project priorities. “It’s going to be slow as companies figure out how they’re going to do business in this new environment,” she says, “what precautions they need to take and how they need to equip their facilities to adapt to this.”

Private investors might be more cautious about investing than state or federal governments, says Michael Johnson, project manager at Tri-Area Electric Co., Youngstown. “There could definitely be a contraction in private dollars” as companies wait to see what happens in six to 12 months.

Long-term changes will be mostly in the area of ​​social distancing, he says. “Face-to-face meetings are going to be rare.”

Social distancing requirements could ease from the six-foot norm in place, says Justin Bruce, vice president of Bruce & Merrilees Electric Co. in New Castle, Pennsylvania.

One of those “little things you don’t really think about,” shaking hands, can take a long time to come back, he says.

Dominic Donofrio of Enertech Electrical expects employees to be able to work from home more often. And he anticipates new public health mandates from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

“We are going to see an overall caution with people where they are going, especially in hospital work. People will hesitate,” says Donofrio. “It will certainly be unique for the electrical industry to enter homes, hospitals and manufacturing. We need to be smart about this and make sure everyone uses good hygiene and distancing where appropriate. »

Donofrio predicts that construction will rebound this summer, although the market for service works will remain difficult.

“Construction will start to mobilize again,” he says. But he worries about a likely spike in coronavirus in the fall. “We could, maybe as a country, do the same,” he says.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.

Patricia D. Rutt