Impact Washington bolsters manufacturer support during pandemic

Thursday, January 28, 2021

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Impact Washington, a nonprofit supporting manufacturing companies and a valued EDASC partner, continued its impressive work providing services tailored to small- and medium-sized businesses while pivoting to meet the evolving needs during the pandemic.

Impact Washington’s experienced staff provide an array of management and operational services, taking advantage of federal, state, and local resources. In addition to their normal consulting and training offerings, Impact Washington began providing new COVID-19-related services, including no-cost back-to-work assessments for manufacturers looking to  reopen as restrictions relaxed.

La Conner manufacturer GLDN, an online direct-to-consumer handmade jeweler, took advantage of the assessment to restart its operations.

“Impact Washington gave us a framework and a way of thinking about reopening that was very helpful,” said GLDN Chief Operating Officer Mark Johnson in June 2020.

Like many businesses, GLDN was forced to shut down on-site operations in March 2020 to help stop the spread of COVID-19. With loosening restrictions in May 2020, GLDN was working toward reopening. But, as Johnson found, it was not as easy as flipping a switch.

“The changes [were] unprecedented, and we obviously didn’t have a lot of experience in this, so it was great to have the expertise of Impact Washington,” Johnson said.

Impact Washington conducted two remote Return to Work Environment Assessments for GLDN’s La Conner and Bellingham locations in May 2020. GLDN was provided a completed assessment documenting individual risk levels found within the company’s facilities along with recommendations for specific workplace controls.

"Their deliverable was invaluable and was provided the next business day,” Johnson said.

Along with the Return to Work Environment Assessment Program, Impact Washington also partnered with the State Department of Commerce to work with 65 manufacturers to help them pivot to produce personal protection equipment and other medical tools for the state. It also began administering about $1.2 million in CARES Act funds to aid Washington-based manufacturers impacted by COVID-19.

To further assist manufacturers adapting to the new normal, Impact Washington also bolstered its staff at the end of 2020. Impact Washington President and Center Director Deloit R. Wolfe, Jr., said COVID-19 caused severe operational, social and financial consequences, forcing manufacturers to rethink the ways in which they do business.

“Helping manufacturers sustain a competitive advantage and accelerate business growth as the economies start to rebound is our number one priority,” said Wolfe. “The extensive experience and contribution [our new staff members] bring to the manufacturing community and our team aligns perfectly with the mission of Impact Washington. We are more  confident than ever to partner with manufacturers and empower them to navigate and excel beyond this crisis.”

Click here to visit Impact Washington's website.

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