There are 16 critical infrastructure sectors in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. While electrical equipment manufacturers are considered “Critical Manufacturing,” they also directly support every other sector by making the products needed to assure the reliable and consistent flow of electricity. Without on-demand electricity, which depends on a steady supply of equipment for maintenance and upgrade of existing systems and construction of new buildings and capabilities, our nation’s current situation would go from bad to worse. And without electricity, millions of American workers will face an uncertain employment and economic future.
Some states responding to COVID-19 have referenced the DHS guidance related to critical manufacturing, including those producing electrical equipment. This is particularly important to keeping America working where/when able. So we encourage all states to follow the guidance of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which acknowledges electrical manufacturers as critical infrastructure that must remain operational during this outbreak. NEMA recently issued a letter to the nation’s governors, state, and local leaders detailing the essential nature of electrical manufacturers, distributors, and installers to encourage all levels of government considering restrictive policies to allow the electroindustry to continue operations.
Electrical manufacturers and their distributor and installer partners promptly instituted policies to protect employees who cannot telework to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Other techniques, as recommended by the will be adopted just as rapidly.
We do not know how long this outbreak will last, but we do know we cannot afford to shut down critical electrical manufacturing, power production, and distribution that drives the economy. We need a steady supply of equipment to maintain a reliable electric system and keep the power on for homes and hospitals, and workers need their jobs during these economically uncertain times.
Safeguards can and are being put in place to protect workers from spreading COVID-19. With protections in place, states must exempt critical sector manufacturers from shelter-in-place restrictions. Yes, this is for the sake of the power system, but also for the sake of economic security for millions of Americans working across the country.
Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Security,
“Identifying Critical Infrastructure During COVID-19”