With nearly $4 billion in 2020 revenue and a strong dominance of the design-build distribution center market, Clayco, Inc., is atop ENR Midwest's preliminary Top Contractors list for the second year in a row and has been named Contractor of the Year by a vote of ENR's editors.

In March, the Chicago-based design builder took a leadership role in construction's fight against COVID-19 by advising the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and governors of the various states to write the work-site guidelines that allowed the construction industry to keep projects going throughout the pandemic. The guidelines included multiple entrances to sites, temperature checks, masks, social distancing and having an onsite nurse.

Clayco completed 13 million worker-hours with only 125 documented COVID-19 cases at its essential work sites in 2020.

"The entire industry has really done a great job and has really proven to the governors and various health officials that construction can, indeed, go on under these pandemic conditions," says Clayco Executive Chairman and Founder Bob Clark.

Clark also led industry push back to an Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidance that deemed adverse reactions to required COVID-19 vaccines a recordable incident in contractors' and other employers' safety logs. OSHA changed that guidance, in part because of Clayco's communications with the agency and now does not require employers to report the reactions in their safety logs.

Fighting the pandemic on the ground, for Clayco, meant completing Pfizer's Chesterfield, Mo., research and development facility where the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was developed and is still being formulated and manufactured today. Clayco also delivered $1.4-billion in distribution centers in 2020, helping to keep everyone who couldn't get out supplied and safe at home.

"We want to be a safe place for everyone to do business with and for our employees to work at, when we talk about safety, many people think we're only talking about things such as bolts falling on people's heads," Clark says. "To us, it's much broader than that. We want everyone to be in a safe situation and feel, all of the time, that they're in a safe situation."

Read the full story about Clayco's banner year of industry leadership in the July issue of ENR Midwest.