These past few weeks have brought unprecedented changes to our lives – at home and at work. What’s happening in our world today is unlike anything our multi-generational workforce has experienced. And while no one is exempt from at least some effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the degree to which we are each impacted varies considerably.  

If you have a job that allows you to work from the comfort of your home as I do, then you’ve hopefully learned to appreciate just how fortunate you are at this time. I know I have. 

Now more than ever, I’m thankful for the millions of essential employees – doctors, nurses, police, firefighters, grocery and restaurant workers, postal carriers, truck drivers, sanitation workers, and countless others whom I know I’m neglecting to mention here – who leave the safety of their homes in order to take care of the rest of us. 

I’m especially grateful for another important group of essential employees – the frontline manufacturing workforce – who continue to work behind the scenes on a daily basis to ensure that those working on the frontlines in hospitals, pharmacies, grocery stores, restaurants, and other essential businesses have the goods and supplies they need to do their jobs safely and effectively.  

During this time of uncertainty, many manufacturing organizations have continued their daily operations – even increasing output or adapting operational processes to meet urgent demand for goods – while faced with the added complexities of adopting new or enhanced safety protocols, overcoming supply chain disruptions, and balancing the great responsibility of helping their workforce navigate these unforeseen challenges.  

Here are just a few examples of manufacturers who are adapting to support their communities and their employees during this time

  • Ford Motor Company and GE Healthcare are partnering to produce 50,000 ventilators in 100 days to support the medical industry 
  • Dozens of food processing companies, including Campbell’s Soup, Cargill, JBS, PepsiCo, and National Beef, will provide additional financial support to employees through one-time bonuses or hourly raises during the COVID-19 pandemic 
  • Toyota Motor Corporation is shifting production from automobiles to face shields for the medical industry 
  • Honeywell International Inc. is opening a new facility and will hire 500 workers to manufacture N95 protective masks 


The manufacturing industry is like no other in that its employees impact virtually every aspect of our daily lives – from the clothes we wear to the food we eat, the medicines we take, the cars we drive, the devices that educate and entertain us, and innumerable other examples. 

It’s for these reasons and more that I’d like to say THANK YOU to the frontline employees in the manufacturing industry. We are beyond grateful for your continued hard work during this time to ensure your customers have the essential resources needed to care for the global community. 

With grateful hearts.

Published: Wednesday, April 8, 2020