2020: A Golden Anniversary to Remember

By Blach Construction | December 18, 2020

For Blach Construction, 2020 was always going to be a year to remember: it marked our 50th Anniversary. Celebratory planning began long ago and we were all set to commemorate this remarkable milestone in a variety of ways – from partner events and employee celebrations to year-long philanthropic efforts for Sacred Heart Community Service (SHCS).  Add to this, Chairman Mike Blach took the helm as President of the Associated General Contractors of California. And then, not three months into the year, the pandemic hit.

By early March, it became clear that our focus – and how we conduct business – were both headed for serious change. All plans for celebration were curtailed and into the abnormal we went. Eyes and minds open, our teams rallied. Rather than shy away from this unprecedented situation, everyone adapted accordingly, methodically, cautiously. (We are contractors, after all, and accustomed to dealing with hazards and challenges.)

Daily certifications, increased PPE and sanitation efforts, as well as air filtration systems were immediately put into place, further protecting everyone on our jobsites. Weekly all-company check-ins kept people engaged and informed. Expanded use of technology increased efficiencies and productivity. Flexibility and empathy built stronger bonds among clients, partners and colleagues. Our commitment to continued collaboration and camaraderie unwittingly prepared us for the additional challenges that lay ahead.

Summer brought extreme heat, wildfires and increased visibility to social justice. We were seriously saddened by the various events our state and nation endured. Standing together, we took steps to closely examine our own practices, make necessary changes and provide additional support. We formed a Social Impact Team whose sole charter has been to ensure we remain diverse, equitable and inclusive. In these times of uncertainty, this much has always been clear: there is no room for bigotry or discrimination at Blach, among our teams or on our projects.

As the year wore on, and our communities continued to face adversity, we remained steadfast in our resolve to give back. A large part of our 50th Anniversary celebration centered around year-long programs to support SHCS, a non-profit organization with which we’ve been intimately involved for more than 20 years. Sadly, our planned group activities were suspended due to pandemic restrictions, but our fundraising efforts exceeded expectations. To date, we have well surpassed our donation goal of $50,000 to support individuals and families in need throughout Santa Clara County.

What’s even more gratifying is that some employees took awe-inspiring steps, assembling and distributing hygiene kits to almost 20,000 people who are homeless throughout Santa Clara and Monterey Counties. Additionally, this team extended their efforts, recently partnering with the Marine Corps to wrap more than 5,000 toys for our local Toys for Tots program.

Like many this year, we firmly embraced virtual tools for significant milestones. We paid homage to the people and projects that have made Blach Construction what it is today in anniversary videos showcasing each decade’s many (and varied) accomplishments. Mike Blach walked all employees through the “History of Blach” in a virtual, all-company meeting. Award-winning employees were honored in online ceremonies, enabling more colleagues and friends to participate. Project ground breakings, updates and grand openings were celebrated via video. Finally, we are installing our history exhibit in our headquarters, which will be waiting for our employees and visitors when we are able to return to the office.

Overall, 2020 has been a sobering year, full of learning lessons and memorable for reasons other than our 50th Anniversary. Now that the year is coming to a close, we at Blach are very grateful. Our teams are healthy. Our work has continued. And our commitment to enhancing the communities in which we live and work is stronger than ever. We are proud of our teams’ resilience and perseverance and thankful for clients who are true partners. As we consider the future, we look forward to making even greater impact over the next 50 years.