News From PCCA...
CISA Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce: Ensuring Community and National Resilience in COVID-19
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released the Version 2.0 (attached) of its Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce advisory list on March 28 to help state/local entities protect their communities while ensuring continuity of functions critical to public health and safety as well as economic and national security. PCCA submitted comments on a previous version of this guidance last week. CISA noted that the list should not be considered a federal directive or standard but is intended to be the exclusive list of critical infrastructure sectors, workers, and functions. It “identifies workers involved in the construction and services that are typically essential to the viability of maintaining and repairing critical infrastructure, including preforming the construction who support crucial supply chains and enable functions for critical infrastructure.”
Today [March 27], President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the $2 trillion stimulus package that is the third phase of the federal government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Importantly for PCCA members, the bill authorizes emergency loans to distressed businesses.
With respect to small businesses, the CARES Act
* Establishes, and provides funding for, forgivable bridge loans; and
* Provides additional funding for grants and technical assistance.
The Act also provides funding for $1,200 tax rebates to individuals, with additional $500 payments per qualifying child. The rebate begins phasing out when incomes exceed $75,000 (or $150,000 for joint filers).
The CARES Act, through the Paycheck Protection Program, allocates almost $350 billion to support emergency loans to qualifying businesses.
Below is guidance on the Paycheck Protection Program from the Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship. You can learn more on the Small Business Administration website: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/paycheck-protection-program.
On March 3, the Power & Communication Contractors (PCCA) Board of Directors elected Bonnie Burnham, Forbes Bros USA, and Justin Druffel, Caterpillar, Inc., tothe PCCA Board. The PCCA membership welcomed Burnham and Druffel that night at the PCCA 75th Anniversary Bash during the association's Annual Convention in the Bahamas.
Burnham is Vice President, Business Services for Forbes Brothers USA. She began her career managing construction of the initial mobile phone systems for cellular carriers in Florida. With a move to Irby Construction Company, she also directed transmission and distribution projects nationwide, including storm response. Now with Forbes Bros, she works with estimating, risk management, and business development for North America.
Druffel is a Senior National Accounts Manager at Caterpillar. He collaborates with National Account customers, Caterpillar marketing organizations, Caterpillar Financial Services, and Caterpillar dealerships to develop and implement sales and service plans and marketing and distribution strategies. He has 21 years of diverse industry experience and has also held management positions at Preco Electronics and Caterpillar CLAAS America, LLC.
PCCA represents contractors, manufacturers, and distributors who build and repair America’s power and communications infrastructure, including electric transmission, distribution, and substation facilities and broadband, telephone, and cable television systems.
U.S. Department Of Labor Publishes Guidance Explaining Paid Sick Leave And Expanded Family and Medical Leave Under The Families First Coronavirus Response Act
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) announced its first round of published guidance to provide information to employees and employers about how each will be able to take advantage of the protections and relief offered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) when it takes effect on April 1, 2020.
U.S. Department Of Labor Publishes Guidance Explaining Paid Sick Leave And Expanded Family and Medical Leave Under The Families First Coronavirus Response Act U.S. Department Of Labor Publishes Guidance Explaining Paid Sick Leave And Expanded Family and
March 20, 2020 - WASHINGTON, DC – Today the U.S. Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Department of Labor announced that small and midsize employers can begin taking advantage of two new refundable payroll tax credits, designed to immediately and fully reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave to their employees. This relief to employees and small and midsize businesses is provided under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, signed by President Trump on March 18, 2020.
As the Nation comes together to slow the spread of COVID-19, on March 16th, the President issued updated Coronavirus Guidance for America. This guidance states that:
If you work in a critical infrastructure industry, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, such as healthcare services and pharmaceutical and food supply, you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule.
I have been struggling with writing our own COVID-19 dissertation in light of the fact that you have likely received emails on the Corona Virus from every conceivable source including schools, restaurants, accountants, lawyers, airlines, hotels, and trade associations. They all say pretty much the same thing—wash your hands, keep your distance, etc. We have nothing to add to keep you safe as we’ve all been reading and watching the same things.
Ensuring accurate and timely locating “more important than ever.”
March 19, 2020
Alexandria, VA – In the midst of the national coronavirus pandemic, the Power & Communication Contractors Association (PCCA) is encouraging federal and state authorities to do whatever possible to ensure that Americans remain connected. A fundamental part of this lies in the damage prevention process, where excavators and facility operators share responsibility in safeguarding underground facilities during excavation projects.