As we move toward the 2020 construction season, our staff are working with the construction community and our rural and urban partners to ensure the safety of employees on construction projects and the security of communities where work is planned for this season.
The construction industry is Alaska's third largest, employing almost 16,000 workers. Alaska's transportation infrastructure is the pulse of the economy and it is imperative that it be maintained and improved. We intend to advertise our 2020 construction program and work expeditiously toward getting those construction projects underway.
Construction jobsites are not densely populated work areas. Regardless, we need to continue to practice personal hygiene and social distancing measures to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 virus. This is even more critical for work in rural communities. We will have health screening protocols in place for all our workers traveling to remote communities and we will work with those communities to meet their needs before construction starts.
The present situation is unprecedented in Alaska. We need close cooperation and collaboration between communities, DOT&PF, our contractors, and labor to ensure the health and safety of the public and everyone working on our projects. We are committed to working closely with all of our partners in construction. We will all need to be flexible and collaborative during this crisis, just like we have worked through difficult times in the past. We're Alaskans. This is one more challenge we will overcome together.