Senior executives and board members at Dallas-based global engineering firm Jacobs are taking 10 percent pay cuts during the COVID-19 crisis to help the company reach a donation of $1 million toward coronavirus mitigation.
At the same time, Jacobs announced it is shifting some of its contracts in response to the pandemic. It said that locally, its efforts will include matching employee fundraising endeavors.
CEO Steve Demetriou detailed how the company is making moves to aid the community and ensure employee safety:
This is a very unsettling time in the world. Each of us—along with our families, friends, colleagues and communities—are watching the development of the coronavirus pandemic and grappling with feelings of concern and uncertainty. And while this is uncharted territory for all of us, the safety and well-being of our people and communities must remain our top priority.
Jacobs said the company’s field teams are donating surplus gloves, masks, and other supplies to hospitals to help mitigate shortages. And, the company has instituted a “maximum remote working environment,” offering its employees remote flexibility as it continues to work with clients.
“We are also learning that we can work much more seamlessly than we thought using technology to connect virtually,” Demetriou said.
Jacobs, which has 55,000 employees worldwide, has restricted travel through the end of May and created protocols for employees who have returned home from travel abroad. Demetriou said Jacobs could emerge from COVID-19 pandemic less reliant on travel for employees and with a different work environment for them.
As far as refocusing its government contracts, Jacobs is working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to create mobile hospitals in “hot zones” nationwide.
The company is also working with the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand on healthcare operations.
One of the most pressing needs in this crisis is having sufficient ventilators, and Jacobs plans to stay involved in supporting an increase in ventilator production, as well as concept design for a vaccine against the coronavirus.
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