January is a great month to look to the future, and things are looking up this January. We know that 2021 will be a better year than the one we have just completed because it can’t get worse.

Pfizer and Moderna are providing shelter from the arc of the disease with their Covid-19 vaccines. These manufacturers crank out millions of doses monthly. Another product from AstraZeneca may make its way to our shores soon, rounding out a trifecta of protection.

At some point, perhaps by midsummer, the world will stand back from the fearful cliff it has been teetering on for nearly a year. It might not yet be “normal,” but it will undoubtedly be better

With that mind frame and the work the association leadership has put in on our strategic plan, we are contemplating the future and possibly an alternative set of expectations to meet our members needs for the coming year

You could call them “optimistic” or “steady-state” visions of the future. Right now, we’re settling on a Plan A and Plan B nomenclature. We aren’t considering a Plan C with a “pessimistic” slant, not because it isn’t possible, but because we’ll roll with the punches like we did last year if there is new trouble.

Plan A assumes the most likely future—the vaccines beat back the virus—and while it will take time to dismantle the bureaucracy built around the disease, we will see a southern California where the sun shines and construction projects sprout from the ground.

Here’s an example

A local area project of interest to many contractors in the region is the Navy’s massive post-earthquake China Lake Rebuild project adjacent to the City of Ridgecrest. The roughly $3 billion project will repair damage from the historic July 2019 earthquakes. The rebuild includes 18 sub-projects, with Military Construction (MILCON) funds allocated in 2020. MILCON awarded fifty percent of projects last fall, with the other half to follow in 2021 (See page 15 for more information).

There will still be work available under Plan B, but slow to launch as local government budgets feel the pinch of unanticipated expenses. We expect the Covid-19 work site protocols to remain in place for most of this year, and some, like checking workers for fever, may be with us forever. We anticipate mask requirement for the pandemic duration, and “social distancing” will stay until the all-clear horn sounds.

Still, things will improve, so keep your chin up!

 

By Ray Baca Executive Director Email: [email protected]