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Mar 24, 202009:16 AMTransportation Matters

with Debby Jackson

Together, we will get through this

We spend our lives planning and looking forward to what’s next — meaningful milestones, the next business year, the future. When the looking glass becomes foggy and the path forward is unclear, most of us become uncomfortable.

Like many of you, a significant chunk of my time recently has been consumed by unraveling previously made plans or preparing for the unknown. I didn’t realize the impact of the uncertainty and the addictive drip, drip, drip of the news coverage on me until a colleague brought it to my attention.

And I don’t think I am alone.

So, let’s focus first on what’s important — taking care of one another. This means not only following the recommendations of the medical professionals but understanding we are in this together. It is essential to focus on the positive, especially at times when things seem a little dark. 

I’m happy today to focus on a positive, particularly how the construction industry, including transportation, is pitching in right now to help frontline health care workers in Wisconsin. 

Last week, Vice President Mike Pence made a public plea to the construction trades. Their N95 face masks and sterile gloves, while not medical grade, are sufficient for health care workers to use. Because of the coronavirus, health care facilities across the nation are in short supply of crucial personal protective equipment.

“We would make one specific request, and that is we would urge construction companies to donate their inventory of N95 masks to your local hospital and forgo additional orders of those industrial masks,” Pence said during a White House press conference.

The industry is stepping up.

Wisconsin Laborers' District Council gathered 100 N95 face masks and 500 nitrile gloves from its training center to donate to UW Hospital in Madison. This is just one example.

According to Pat Goss, executive director of the Wisconsin Transportation Builders Association, the industry’s response has been impressive. Some of his members had already donated to their local hospitals before the association sent out an appeal for donations, while others acted after being contacted.

“My contractor members are mainly family-owned businesses that have been in their communities for many generations, so it is important to them to help support their communities,” Goss said. “We all have to do our part during this unprecedented time.”

As we navigate these uncharted waters, please thank state and local officials looking out for us, pray for the sick and the families who have lost loved ones, help your neighbors, celebrate people helping people, and stay positive.

We are all in this together and we must all do our part to meet this challenge. Together, we will get through this.

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About This Blog

 Debby Jackson assumed the role of executive director of the Transportation Development Association of Wisconsin after more than 15 years with the organization. In addition to her vast experience in association management and transportation advocacy, Jackson has a background in business. She leverages the breadth and depth of her professional experience, along with her knowledge of the membership and mission of TDA, to be a strong voice for robust transportation infrastructure in Wisconsin. Jackson started her career as a staff auditor with Price Waterhouse, which led to a series of accounting and corporate management positions with a major national retailer.

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