Often, the little things make us stop in our tracks and think about what we’re doing. In this case, it was a letter, handwritten and hand-delivered to the foreman on one of our projects that got my complete attention. The letter was from a family whose property abutted our job, and it showed they had been watching what we were doing

Here’s what it said:

Thanks, guys for the “Covid” entertainment.

It’s really interesting, if not sometimes scary, to watch.

We know you are essential workers, and during this stressful time, we hope you are staying safe and healthy as well as your families.

The five family members signed off with “Sincerely,” and I think they meant it.

This kind of letter reminds us that the people we serve, the citizens of the communities where we work, appreciate our efforts and that we are not invisible. 

Everything we do is on the public stage, and while they may not understand the technical nature of our jobs, we want them to know that we are working for a better life for their families. It would only take a bit of signage describing the work, how long it will take to complete and express our concerns about any disruptions to their lives. We should always say, “Thank You!” at the end of the message.

And Now, The End Is Near

By the end of this month, I will become one of the long line of Past Presidents of the Engineering Contractors’ Association. I will hand over the real gavel and welcome our new president, Garrett Francis, to the virtual seat at the end of the virtual board room table. I urge you to do the same.

As I did, he will need both your support and effort to continue our work to help make the southern California heavy construction market more prosperous and maybe a bit more civil. He will have a strong executive board to answer questions he never knew he would get. Our full board represents all the varied interests of our industry and has been immensely helpful in the past two years. Our highly professional staff has taken everything Covid, and we can throw at them without missing a beat.

As for me, it’s not farewell but a baldfaced attempt to step to the side and only help when asked. Wish me luck. Thank You!


By Brendan Slagle, ECA President Email: [email protected]