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Area manufacturers reopening economy implementing workforce safety measures

Manufacturing photo
jotler
/
Pixabay

Manufacturers across the state are reopening today. WGVU spoke with two West Michigan operators about what that will look like?

The manufacturing sector from David Beemer’s perspective, it’s the feeder for the rest of the business community.

“From the manufacturing base, once you get that company back online, those employees come back off of layoffs. They now have some money to spend on goods and services.”

Beemer is Chief Operating Officer at Terryberry, a provider of recognition and awards programs.

“And then that manufacturer also has a number of different suppliers for them. It’s kind of got a multiplying effect.”

“I try to let our employees manage their lives. Just as long as there’s communication back-and-forth we’re going to be working together to make sure that everybody gets back to work and does it safely,” explained Heath Verstraete.

With 13 employees, that’s top of mind for Verstraete, President of Conveyability, a provider of solutions for the material handling industry.

“We are going to make the requirement to provide masks for our employees. That they practice safe social distancing.”

Hand sanitizing and disinfecting surfaces along with following the governor’s orders and CDC guidelines. Everyone entering the facility must have their temperature checked and fill out a symptom questionnaire.

With more than 250 employees worldwide, Grand Rapids-based Terryberry is staggering shift start times.

“So, before if we had everybody starting at 6:00, we may have a subset that’s going to start at 5:30, a subset that starts at 6:00 and a subset that starts at 6:30 and then same thing on second shift. All of the break and meal times are going to be staggered there as well.”

Accommodations are being made for employees with underlying health conditions and employees with children.

I’m Patrick Center.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.