March 31, 2020

Marc Herbst.pngA Message From LICA’s Marc Herbst

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

The origin of this popular quote has been disputed. The earliest known publication appeared in the newspaper Corpus Christi Times in 1953 quoting a local football coach named John Thomas. Another article the following year in the Santa Cruz Sentinel-News attributed the quote to another football coach, Francis William Leahy. The most popular accreditation goes to businessman Joseph P. Kennedy, father of President John F. Kennedy and Senators Robert F. and Ted Kennedy. But English singer Billy Ocean made the expression popular world-wide with his 1985 hit “When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going.”

Regardless of its origin, the meaning of the phrase can easily be used to describe the heavy highway construction industry today in our region. As the world responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, I congratulate our industry for its steadfast courage and commitment. The contractors, trades and governmental partners have responded efficiently to ensure the safety and well-being of the overall community. I truly believe the long-term, cooperative and respectful relationships between our companies, labor leaders and public officials have effectively kept the lines of communication open. The mutual understanding of each other’s needs has helped our industry collaborate and navigate forward.

Besides immediately implementing the recommended health protective measures in the work field, efforts were instantly made to assist in providing supplies and materials to the health care professionals protecting us. Our coordination has been fantastic.

Thank you for your sustained patience and cooperation. We too are being inundated with revisions of policies and directives as we maneuver through the unprecedented environment. A calm and steady response will ensure that we will persevere, and ultimately come out stronger, once the pandemic clears.  To help organize and prioritize the most critical information, LICA has provided you with a source on our website to help keep you informed on the latest information affecting our industry.

Although construction was initially declared an "essential industry" by the Governor, there have been some recent revisions to this original executive order, resulting in updated guidance, being issued by Empire State Development, which will call for the closure of certain projects. However, many other road and bridge-related construction projects are eligible to continue, provided contractors meet and adhere to required social distancing guidelines and other regulations. As those permitted projects move forward, our members continue to provide some of the vital services necessary to sustain and improve the critical infrastructure in our community, even during these most difficult of times. No one can predict what the next days, months or beyond may hold. But we know that once the health situation is placed under control, our industry will once again be called upon to spark the needed economic recovery. 

Again, thank you for your leadership and toughness. Stay safe and healthy!

Marc Herbst
Executive Director


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