NCMA Holds Conference Call on Coronavirus with Governor Cooper

Governor Cooper During Manufacturing Week

SOURCE: Governor Roy Cooper - Twitter

NCMA Holds Conference Call on Coronavirus with Governor Cooper

March 23, 2020

One 23 March 2020, NCMA President Preston Howard and representatives of seven (7) geographically spaced member companies with widely differing processes and product lines held a conference call with Governor Cooper and senior leaders of his staff concerning current and possible future responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The seven (7) member companies represented on the call were: Corning, Domtar, Ecolab, PCS Phosphate, Reynolds American, Shurtape Technologies, and Syngenta.

The primary purposes of the call were 3-fold:

  • To share with Governor Cooper the aggressive actions that NCMA members have and are taking in response to the COVID-19 virus;
  • To offer recommendations for the Governor’s consideration were he to issue a shelter in place order; and
  • To solicit ways in which NCMA and its member companies can be helpful to and compliment the Governors efforts to control the spread of COVID-19.

The key messages that NCMA delivered to the Governor may be seen at this link: Conference Call Notes

During the call Governor Cooper acknowledged the importance of manufacturing to the State of North Carolina.  He said “how we respond (sic, to the COVID-19 crisis) will shape manufacturing in our state for years to come”; and “We need to do everything we can do to keep North Carolina’s economy growing.”

Howard told the Governor that if he were to reach a decision to impose a shelter in place order on the State, NCMA would strongly recommend that he follow the guidance issued by the US Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) in defining “essential businesses.” Howard pointed to executive orders issued by Governor Lamont in Connecticut and Governor Pritzker in Illinois as examples that incorporated the CISA guidance.

Governor Cooper noted during the call that under existing law local health directors in North Carolina have very broad authorities and that they could individually issue their own shelter in place orders within their county of jurisdiction.  Howard told the Governor that manufacturers would rather see one (1) order of statewide applicability vs a multitude of individual orders issued by local health directors.

NCMA encourages its member companies to get out in front of any action by local health directors by communicating directly today with local leaders (local city and county managers, local elected officials, local economic development officials, etc.), and request local officials to follow Governor Cooper’s lead on any shelter in place type orders. 

Any member who has questions about today’s call with Governor Cooper or any other matter related to NCMA’s response to the Covid-19 issues should call Preston Howard (919-740-8834).