The Association of Manufacturers Bay Area (AMBayArea) has heard and seen first-hand the challenges that Bay Area manufacturers have faced during COVID-19. During March, in response to the growing pandemic and restrictions placed on Bay Area businesses, AMBayArea began facilitating Virtual CEO Roundtable Discussions via video. The virtual meetings, which were held weekly and then transitioned to every other week, have provided Bay Area manufacturers the opportunity to check in with fellow leaders and discuss the ever-changing challenges and required protocols of running a business amidst COVID-19.
“I surround myself with smart people in hopes it rubs off on me!” said Linda Fong, Owner of FastSigns Oakland and Hayward, who has attended several of the AMBayArea Virtual CEO Roundtable Discussions. “It has put my mind at some ease knowing we are problem solving together in ways I would not have thought of myself.”
During the virtual roundtables, manufacturing leaders have shared the innovative ways they are adapting to protect their workforce, while working to ensure the resilience and success of their business.
Many AMBayArea members continued to manufacture essential products, while others pivoted to meet the needs of the country. Below are just some examples of how AMBayArea members stepped up to be part of the solution during these challenging times.
ALOM rapidly reconfigured production lines to assemble and ship Covid-19 test kits to medical facilities across the state. ALOM is ISO 13485 certified and FDA registered for medical device manufacturing and handling. Extensive workplace and staff safety measures have been implemented across the company to protect workers. In response to numerous inquiries and requests ALOM is supplying PPE products to companies to protect workers as they ramp up operations and bring employees back on premises.
Bay Area Community Colleges Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Development Regional Director and AMBayArea Board Member Mark Martin, Ph.D., worked with staff and students at the Laney College LaneyFabLab to use rapid-prototyping and digital fabrication techniques to manufacture face shields to protect those working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis.
Bishop-Wisecarver President & CEO Pamela Kan was appointed to Governor Newsom’s Business & Jobs Recovery Task Force to represent Bay Area manufacturers and small businesses.
California Manufacturers & Technology Association (CMTA) has been working with closely with the state’s administration and partners to support the manufacturing industry during shelter-in-place and reopening, while also providing webinars and resources during COVID-19.
Construction Electrical Products (CEP) has supplied temporary lighting and power equipment to several shelter manufacturers across the United States who are constructing temporary testing and screening sites for COVID-19 patients, including hospital sites as near as Santa Clara, CA to as far as Orlando, FL. In addition, they continuing to support the electrical demands for many contractors working to keep hospitals, government buildings, data centers, and utilities operational during the pandemic.
Evolve Manufacturing Technologies, Inc., a medical equipment maker located in Fremont, began building 3,000 test kits per day in response to COVID-19.
Manex Consulting and Alameda County Workforce Development Board expanded their Business Assistance Program (BAP) for small to mid-sized manufacturers in Alameda County to provide assistance in response to COVID-19 challenges.
Scandic, the largest spring and stamping company in Northern California, is manufacturing a part that goes into a diagnostic machine used for detecting Covid and other viruses. They also designed and created no-touch door openers for their employees to reduce contact with common surfaces.
Sensiba San Filippo Partner and AMBayArea Board Member Karen Burns helped found the TriValleyTogether Volunteer Response Network, which helps connect Bay Area manufacturers with healthcare workers in need of personal protective equipment (PPE) during COVID-19. Sensiba San Filippo team members are also helping companies navigate the PPP application process as well as the forgiveness calculations.
AMBayArea is committed to supporting the manufacturing community during these challenging times. In addition to hosting Virtual CEO Roundtable Discussions, we will continue to vet information and provide the latest updates, resources and thought leadership articles for manufacturers at ambayarea.org/covid19update.