April 02, 2020
Statement from the NEMA Lighting Division
ROSSLYN, Va.—The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) and Members of its Lighting Systems Division, support the determination that electrical products/systems and medical imaging devices are "essential manufacturing" pursuant to the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) guidance on Identifying Critical Infrastructure for purposes of reducing the public health threat presented by the coronavirus pandemic. Furthermore, this determination should be uniformly adopted by policymakers at all levels of government.
This determination enables dedicated Member companies to support critical efforts to ensure the safety and security of all citizens while limiting the spread of this pandemic. Further, we support the determination that lighting and lighting system manufacturers are essential businesses and request that all government agencies explaining the details of "stay-at-home" policies explicitly include all lighting and lighting systems device manufacturers to avoid delays in meeting the public's need for these essential goods supporting critical infrastructure as well as the public's interest in a safe environment.
The electrical industry must provide properly lit, safe, and secure environments for medical workers, grocery stores, gas stations, banks, distribution centers, homes, and all other essential industries. Outdoor lighting is required to illuminate critical infrastructure and locations with national security implications including government facilities, roadways from interstate highways to municipal and local streets, bridges, toll plazas, utility substations and field offices, border crossings, security checkpoints, docks, transit stations/subways, parking garages and lots at essential locations. NEMA lighting company Members provide lighting for every indoor and outdoor environment, and any disruption in the supply chain of critical needs must be avoided. As suppliers that support essential infrastructure sectors, it is self-evident that lighting and lighting systems manufacturing, and its associated supply and distribution chain, is necessary to produce and distribute lighting to these businesses.
The lighting manufacturing sector has already taken proactive steps to assist in this current crisis. As facilities are being converted into medical centers, and factories are retrofitting to create emergency supplies, lighting and lighting system manufacturers are quickly supplying, through an existing supply chain, the necessary and specific products to support these efforts.
The supply chain for "essential manufacturing" must also be considered "essential". Manufacturing of components/raw materials used in essential manufacturing is necessary to keep up with demand. Distribution channels for essential goods get them to the front lines of defense including hospitals and emergency service centers. To ensure an uninterrupted supply of these critical goods, component/raw material suppliers and those distributing essential goods need to also be considered essential manufacturing and essential business.
As policies are being developed, we recommend as an essential reference the U.S. Department of Homeland Security guidance entitled "MEMORANDUM ON IDENTIFICATION OF ESSENTIAL CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE WORKERS DURING COVID-19 RESPONSE" that should be included in Executive Orders. DHS defines critical manufacturing as "Workers necessary for the manufacturing of materials and products needed for medical supply chains, transportation, energy, communications, food and agriculture, chemical manufacturing, nuclear facilities, the operation of dams, water and wastewater treatment, emergency services, and the defense industrial base." None of these critical businesses can operate without the lighting system devices and products produced by NEMA Member lighting companies, and this clearly identifies the need for continuation of lighting manufacturing.