By Hank Kita, STA Executive Director

This is a time of transition for both the New York City construction industry and the STA!

The COVID-19 crisis will continue to impact our industry and the STA for the foreseeable future.  COVID-19 has changed the construction process as we know it.  Health and safety practices have become more important than ever and the use of PPE and the maintenance of more sanitary jobsites are likely to become the norm for the long run.  The robust construction market which we had prior to March is no more.  Both public and private owners are carefully assessing their financial positions and the viability of putting forward much of their previously booked work.  Projects which were in design before the crisis are now being carefully reviewed and many may not proceed for some time to come, if ever.

Likewise, the STA is itself in a time of transition.  Over the past 100 days, the STA has had to focus almost solely on the changing construction landscape and the impact that COVID-19 was having on its members.  We adapted to the times and set up a series of regular bulletins (now housed on our website) informing our members of the changes in the rules governing our industry as they were being promulgated at the Federal, State, and City levels.  To supplement these bulletins, we provided several virtual presentations for our members on issues such as safety, the impact that the crisis was having on our members, and the need for better linkages between the design and subcontractor communities.

STA also advocated at the State and City level for legislation that would benefit our membership and against other ill-informed proposals that might threaten the very livelihood of our members.  In addition, we continued to network and interact with other trade associations in order to make certain that the needs and views of subcontractors were understood by owners and general contractors as construction moved from an extended “pause” to “startup” earlier this month.

The impact that the COVID-19 crisis has had on the STA and the way we do business is unmistakable.  Virtual meetings and seminars are the new normal for at least most of the remainder of this year.  We have been hurt financially by having to postpone our major fundraiser, the 2020 Annual Awards Dinner from April to November of this year.  It remains to be seen as to whether this event and our Annual Golf Outing in September will have to be postponed once again.  STA has formed a blue ribbon committee which will review the finances and business operations of our organization in order to make certain that we best adapt to the changing times and maintain a fiscally viable organization.

We need our members during this transitional period to keep the STA as a strong voice for the local union affiliated subcontractor community.  The STA’s annual dues invoices for our fiscal year which begins on July 1, are currently being mailed and I appeal to all of our current contractor and associate members to continue your involvement in the STA and remit your dues payments in a timely manner.

Finally, in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, the STA is experiencing a transition in our leadership. As of July 1, Robert Weiss of A.J. McNulty is stepping down as President of the STA’s Board of Directors and is being replaced by Joseph Leo of Atlantic Contracting.  I would personally like to thank Rob Weiss for his three years of outstanding and steady leadership.  Rob has exhibited a steady hand in leading the STA focusing much of his efforts on advocating that subcontractors get a fair shake from both owners and general contractors, especially during the contractual process.  His outstanding leadership has resulted in a more financially sound and focused STA as well as organization that communicates with its membership better than ever before.

Needless to say, I look forward to working closely with Joe Leo and the STA’s Board of Directors during these transitional times so that we can maintain and build upon the accomplishments of our organization over these past few years.  There is much to do for the STA in these unprecedented times and through the leadership of Joe Leo and the continued involvement of our membership, we will all emerge from this crisis stronger than ever before!