Clayco founder crosses the country for in-person pandemic “thank you “site visits

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Clayco‘s Chicago-based founder and executive chairman Bob Clark completed the company’s first cross-country, work-site excursion, “The Job is The Boss Tour 2020”, where he visited 45 active job sites, personally sharing his gratitude and delivering gifts to on-site employees.

The tour was launched in recognition of the resiliency of Clayco’s integral construction workforce who quickly adapted to working amid new health and safety guidelines during this tumultuous time, the company said in a statement on Oct.28.

Clayco leadership provided the originally approved the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines to continue construction activity across the country. The guidelines are a roadmap to working during COVID-19 which was adopted by almost every state in the country and has proven very effective, the contractor says.

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In more than 9.5 million manhours worked on Clayco projects in the last six months there have only been 130 cases documented. In each case the workers were effectively isolated to contained work areas and the projects continued on.

“Although we have witnessed a significant worldwide shift to remote, at home, work, it’s important to us at Clayco that we remember and appreciate the sacrifices of employees who cannot work from home,” said Clark. “I am amazed by the strength, resiliency, and adaptability of our field project team members. I felt there was no more sincere way to show my gratitude than by expressing it in-person.”

Clark’s tour, which covered tens of thousands of miles, started on the east coast on October 6. Clark traveled from Pennsylvania to the Midwest before taking his trip to the west coast, traveling from San Diego to Seattle.

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The tour’s last stop was in Athens, Georgia on Oct. 28. During this four-week period, Clark met directly with Clayco’s employees, exchanging elbow bumps and his gratitude face-to-face, and offering custom gift boxes with a variety of Clayco branded merchandise.

“The entire executive team at Clayco recognizes that the pandemic has been an extremely difficult time for everyone,” said Russ Burns, president and CEO of Clayco. “Our employees are helping their kids navigate Zoom school and coping with the inability to see sick family members. Now more than ever, we believe it’s necessary to show our workforce that their dedication is recognized and valued company-wide.”

Clayco says in its statement that more than 8,000 employees are working on-site projects during the pandemic.

“Each jobsite has adapted to new safety measures in alliance with recommendations from public health officials that has altered the day-to-day of their construction work,” the statement says. “Temperature screenings, increased COVID-19 focused pre-task safety analysis is required when working within six feet of another person, additional sanitizing in work and office areas and strict adherence to CDC and Clayco’s shared COVID-19 guidelines and protocols. As another service, Clayco has extended their Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to all field and subcontract workers. The program offers free and confidential assessments, short-term counseling, referrals, and follow-up services to those who have personal or work-related problems.”

Clayco has also opened its executive offices in Chicago and St. Louis for all of its business units, in compliance with local, state and federal requirements. Key personnel in its development, design-build and architectural services units are coming to the office daily.

“By implementing and diligently following key safety protocols like space planning for social distancing, daily temperature checks, and face masks in common areas and conference rooms, Clayco has been able to maintain critical elements of the collaborative in-person business experience that has helped to grow the company and sustain its culture,” the statement said.

“Not only have we found a way to safely and proactively support our entire business structure in these challenging times, we believe we are modeling the type of in person behaviors that should encourage companies throughout the country to return to the office as soon as possible and restore our strong national economic base,” said Clark.

“While it has been difficult shifting the way in which we work, it’s rewarding knowing that our challenges are recognized,” said JD Sossamon, a Clayco employee at the Delmar Divine jobsite in St. Louis, Mo. “It’s not every day that the founder of your organization travels coast to coast to make thousands of individuals feel heard.”

“‘The Job is the Boss’ is a saying that comes from my father, and it means you do what you need to do to get the job done,” said Clark. “In recent months, I have seen our Clayco team doing what they needed to get the job done regardless of other factors impacting their lives.”

Clark delivered 600 giftboxes which include a handmade custom knife with branded sheath, branded sweatshirt, notecards, and blanket, as well as a Nike baseball hat. They also include a personal thank you note from Clark.


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