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Letter From IBVI President and CEO: CJ Lange on COVID-19

As the current COVID 19 Coronavirus pandemic continues to evolve, we are doing our best to implement any updates to CDC guidelines and safety practices as rapidly as we can with the safety of our employees in all IBVI locations as our top priority.

But it’s also important to note that because we serve customers of the U.S. military and government, our organization is considered an “essential operation” as we are part of the Defense Industrial Base (DIB) identified as a Critical Infrastructure Sector by the Department of Homeland Security.

Several states have issued Executive Orders to shelter-in-place and Wisconsin and Indiana are in the process of issuing similar orders entitled Safer at Home or Stay at Home. These orders, however, include exceptions for businesses deemed “essential”.

As members of the Defense Industrial Base we have a “special responsibility to maintain” our normal work schedules and this exception applies to personnel working for companies, and their subcontractors, who perform under contract to the Department of Defense providing materials and services to the DoD and government owned/contractor-operated and government-owned/government-operated facilities.

However, regardless of what has been stated about our essential operations status, we still are doing everything we can to keep our employees safe including:

  1. Ensuring that all on site employees are adequately spaced apart per CDC guidelines to limit the spread of the COVID 19 virus.
  2. Ensuring that all on site facilities are appropriately sanitized following the CDC guidelines.
  3. Having employees work remotely from home if their job role will allow for that to happen.
  4. Telling employees that if they are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 that those employees self-quarantine at home and stay home following the CDC guidelines.
  5. Shutting down areas or entire facilities per the CDC guidelines related to what to do if an employee tests positive for the COVID 19 Coronavirus.

With those safety measures in mind, we have made the decision to temporarily discontinue hand assembly operations in our West Allis facility and all operations in our Janesville facility. The current configurations of these two facilities where the hand assembly was taking place was preventing us from being able to keep our employees at a distance away from each other that was safe per the CDC guidelines we are following.

That is how we’re currently approaching hand assembly in those locations however we will be reevaluating each location including reconfiguration and equipment options to determine if we can restart those operations moving forward during the COVID 19 Coronavirus pandemic.

The U.S. AbilityOne Commission, National Industries for the Blind, and our U.S. military and federal government customer base continue to ask for our support by staying operational. And in response, we have continued to produce products and mission critical kits while our distribution centers continue to fulfill and deliver mission critical orders for our customers.

We will continue to send out new updates and any changes to operations as they happen.

Please continue to Be Safe by following the CDC guidelines on the COVID 19 Coronavirus.


CJ Lange


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