Commentary: COVID-19 Highlights Our Vulnerabilities and Our Mettle

By Bill Dobbins

 

Caster Concepts Inc. has been part of the manufacturing community in Michigan for 33 years. But most of us, it’s been a lifelong pursuit, working in the communities where we’ve been all our lives. 

We’ve seen the state change from a vibrant manufacturing hub to one that has seen record unemployment and storefronts that remained vacant for decades. We’ve bounced back and found ways to rebuild towns, lives and economies. 

Today, Michigan, like the rest of the country, faces an uncertain future. Yet, we remain as committed to our community and industry as we were on the very first day we opened Caster Concepts in Albion in 1987. 

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, we’ve adjusted our production and teamed up with other manufacturers to produce needed equipment for healthcare workers on the frontlines to care for the sick. We’re filling orders so businesses across the country can provide essential services. 

More importantly, we’re focused on providing for our employees in every way possible despite shrinking resources. We’ve had to make some tough decisions like many businesses, but we’re confident those changes are temporary. 

We’ve carefully considered our actions to ensure the wellbeing of our community. We’re looking for ways to assist local nonprofits serving people in need and area businesses during this tough time. 

 

The COVID-19 crisis shows us how vulnerable we are. Small businesses have the cash flow to survive a month, maybe two. Community groups rely on the kindness of donors and the availability of grants. Virtual solutions that were an option are now a requirement for a business to survive, much less thrive. 

The onus is on each of us to adapt quickly to our environment. I’m confident that local leaders and businesses will take the helm and assist others in that transition, helping fill the gaps by providing resources and expertise. I know communities will come together to plan ahead for the unexpected. We’ll continue to invest in education to prepare our next generation while continuing to build a skilled local workforce. 

I know we’ll do this together because we already have. 

 

Bill Dobbins is president & CEO of Caster Concepts Inc.

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