Yanik: Plenty of reasons to give thanks these days

By |  March 30, 2020


Some of us have been holed up at home for a couple of weeks now. The walls in my house, for one, seem to be caving in at this point.

By April 30, the day President Trump just extended his social distancing guidelines through, we’ll all be itching for a return to our normal routines and the world as we knew it.

But taking the temperature of the world around us provides a reminder of just how fortunate we are to work in and around the aggregate industry.

Reality check

For now, construction has largely been deemed essential across the United States, and with more than 3 million Americans filing for unemployment last week, many producers are thanking their lucky stars they can still go to work – albeit from home or at a work facility.

“I feel stick to my stomach for people that are affected by this,” says Stewart Petrovits, an owner and vice president at Route 82 Sand & Gravel in Millbrook, New York. “Our chamber of commerce had to lay off seven people. We didn’t have that many to begin with.”

Because Route 82 Sand & Gravel operates in an industry where people can still go to work, Petrovits is encouraging others to support those affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

“I’ve been preaching on Facebook and LinkedIn to get a pizza or takeout to help out your local businessman,” Petrovits says. “Do whatever you can to help some of these people out.”

Route 82 Sand & Gravel, like a number of producers, has also offered up its respirators to those pressed for them. In addition, the company is following social distancing guidelines – not only to keep one another healthy, but to show that a company in this industry can safely go about its business in this new climate.

“I’ve had talks with other industry people about being good ambassadors,” Petrovits says. “If we can show our industry can do it right, maybe they’ll relax it on other industries, as well.”

Keeping it positive

Despite our new normal, many in the aggregate industry maintain an optimistic outlook for the weeks and months ahead.

“I believe there is a great amount of reason for optimism,” says Pat Jacomet, executive director of the Ohio Aggregates & Industrial Minerals Association. “There are other things that can come into play, like weather. But our industry and its people are persistent and tenacious. They’re fighters. They have a great work ethic, and we will come out stronger.”

So while the economic fallout of the pandemic has taken its toll on countless industries, the aggregate industry is fortunate it can – for the moment at least – continue with operations at close to full speed ahead.

“I pinch myself every morning and go to bed every night wondering what the next day is going to bring,” Petrovits says.

For additional P&Q coverage related to the coronavirus, visit our dedicated webpage.

Kevin Yanik

About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry. He can be reached at 216-706-3724 or kyanik@northcoastmedia.net.

Comments are closed