Essential manufacturing companies and employers have been key contributors to success in reducing the spread of COVID-19 and keeping the economy alive in southcentral Pennsylvania.
As employers will proudly tell you, the most important aspect of their business is their highly skilled workforce, and examples abound of how they have demonstrated their concern and dedication to their employees during this unprecedented time.
To protect their employees, manufacturers have quickly implemented the public health recommendations including the distribution of face masks, providing hand sanitizer, increasing hand washing breaks, implementing physical distancing, checking the daily wellness of their employees and extending benefits for sick leave and time off. Further, “non-essential” employers have continued to keep their businesses closed to wait out the virus, hoping they have not risked their families’ livelihoods. And remarkably, many manufacturers have also completely changed their business model to become makers of medical protective equipment – distributing this equipment to help save lives in their community and the workplace while creating new jobs for the community.
Many of these efforts have been at great financial cost to the employer but have been well worth the investment to protect their employees and successfully “flattened the curve” of COVID-19 infections. Employers should be commended and recognized for how they quickly deployed these strategies and protected their employees and their communities they live in – employers must be viewed as partners in reopening the state’s economy; the success we’ve had to date demonstrates how well businesses have been willing to commit to public health.
The Manufacturers’ Association represents hundreds of employers across southcentral Pennsylvania and we are here to work with all the stakeholders to create a way forward that considers both protecting public healthand reopening the rest of the economy. We have created Restart Checklists based on the latest public health guidance and conveyed key information so employers can make the best decisions. No one is saying the fight against this virus is over, but employers are a key solution to both protecting our communities and providing individuals a way to make a livelihood during this difficult time.
The Manufacturers’ Association is calling on local, state and federal officials to now recognize and take advantage of the critical roles that business must play; when public officials allow them to engage in creating solutions, our community will have a durable and lasting program that slows the spread of the virus.
We are all in this together, so let’s get to work on securing our progress against the pandemic.