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Opportunities for Manufacturing Staffing Agencies During COVID-19

Posted by IndustrySelect on Thursday, April 9, 2020



Manufacturing in the age of COVID-19 means walking a tightrope. If a facility is deemed "non-essential," what happens to the workers? On the other hand, if a facility is deemed "essential," how can employers ensure the health and safety of their employees? How do they fill the critical staffing gaps between "business as usual" and "business at hyper speed"?

As a staffing agency, it's your job to provide the facts and potential solutions for both the essential and non-essential manufacturers to help stabilize operations. With the right information on their environment (challenges, needs and more), you can properly assist manufacturers and establish a partnership that is mutually beneficial.

Ramping up Production Equals Increasing Staff

California-based Emerald Manufacturing is one of the fortunate "essential" companies. The facility manufactures the protective plastic bags for fruits, vegetables, potato chips and other products in the food industry market space.

Initially a skeptic regarding the severity of the pandemic, Kevin Kelly, Emerald's owner and employer of 250 workers, dismissed COVID-19 as something that would never affect his life.

By mid-March, he was taking the warnings much more seriously. He started social distancing in the office by conducting telephone conferences. He banned meetings of more than five people. Additionally, he mandated that all breaks be staggered so that no more than five people would be out of the office at the same time. Most importantly, he instituted new cleaning and disinfecting policies for his employees and the equipment.

Now in lockdown, but still essential, Kelly's office staff works from home, and his drivers received strict instructions regarding product delivery.

With additional sick leave policies and a strict "stay at home if you are sick" rule, Kelly is re-thinking his operations in light of employee safety during this time of crisis.

To help prepare, he hired a graduate student in public health to teach his employees better personal cleanliness. He also hired additional cleaning staff to ensure that his staff is working in the cleanest possible environment.

Ramping Down Production Equals Finding New Opportunities for Experienced Staff

Meanwhile, automotive manufacturing is grinding to a halt in North America as Toyota announced a complete shut-down of its facilities. Other automotive factories are following suit.

While repairing and maintaining cars is considered "essential," manufacturing new cars is not. Automotive manufacturing employees tend to be high-skilled workers these days, operating CNC machinery and co-working with robots. Fortunately, Toyota and other automotive manufacturers have formed partnerships with other manufacturing facilities to re-tool and re-train their workers to assist with medical device manufacturing.

Toyota is in negotiations with two companies to assist with manufacturing breathing ventilators and respirator hoods. They are also speaking to another company regarding manufacturing face masks. Furthermore, Ford is forming partnerships with 3M and General Electric, while General Motors is exploring the possibility of manufacturing ventilators.

These partnerships are not only keeping workers on the payroll, but they will also require additional workers who specialize in medical manufacturing to train the automotive workers.

Partnerships in the Age of COVID-19

As of April 7, 2020, the New York Times reports that 45 states have issued some type of "stay at home" order. In all, approximately 316 million Americans have been impacted by these orders.

For those Americans fortunate enough to work from home, these orders are a minor inconvenience. But for the millions of factory workers, working from home is simply not an option, and face-to-face meetings to discuss partnerships simply are not possible right now.

To combat this communication challenge, one option is to utilize email more frequently. Although often viewed as impersonal when compared to a face-to-face meeting, email is the safest, most effective way to reach out to manufacturers in regards to potential staffing possibilities. Whether you are seeking to help employees that are going through a company shut-down and layoff, or you are reaching out to temporarily absorb another company's workforce, a simple introductory email starts the partnership off on the right foot.

Beyond that, video conferencing is gaining in popularity. While not quite the same as sitting across the table from another person, it provides the opportunity for an immediate productive exchange.

IndustrySelect provides detailed profiles of 500,000 U.S. industrial businesses, including direct executive email addresses for key staffing and workforce decision makers. 

Before Reaching Out

Fact-checking is the most important box you can mark off for manufacturing companies. COVID-19 is changing the manufacturing landscape on a daily basis. For the "essential" companies, be sure to provide them with the facts they need to increase their workforce effectively - when they're presented with factual, action-based data, they'll find more value in partnering with you to help fulfill their needs.

If you're dealing with the "non-essential" manufacturers, take a similar approach. Present helpful information on how to keep their workers safe before offering any sort of partnership or assistance. Then you can introduce your solutions as a way to keep business continuity flowing.

Get Instant Access to Manufacturing Decision Makers  

The U.S. manufacturing sector is shifting in unprecedented ways, and those who provide staffing, HR services and worker training programs are as in demand as ever. But with hundreds of thousands of manufacturers out there, how do you identify the right companies and get to the right person?

If you’re looking to help manufacturers with their staffing and workforce needs, an IndustrySelect subscription can help you find new customers in the industrial world. Powered by MNI’s hand-verified industrial data, an IndustrySelect subscription gives you access to 500,000 industrial businesses and one million executives.

IndustrySelect allows you to build a powerful list of prospects by drilling down to only the data you need using 30 different criteria. Sort by industry, geography, and company size and more.An executive function search helps you find the contacts you need, such as professionals in Human Resources, Health & Safety, Research & Development and more.

To get a hand-on look at how an IndustrySelect subscription can help you reach new customers, visit our website and try out a free demo.


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