AIV has been working on three related issues, and we ask you for your help.
First, we are working to identify Vermont manufacturers and other businesses who can currently supply, or could convert operations to supply, products and services needed by Vermont authorities in the response to COVID-19.
Second, we are working to identify the same for federal efforts. As identified needs and activities evolve, the federal and state demands might be different or complimentary for suppliers.
Third, we are working to encourage Vermont to recognize all manufacturing as “essential” in the context of any possible shelter in place orders or other restrictions. Barring a blanket designation, we are also working to identify specific product categories or companies that are especially critical for either the state or the country. (We are also working on building the case for key non-manufacturing sectors, as you will see below)
What Are We Doing, and How Can You Help?
First, we have been in communication with state authorities about identifying state needs, providing outreach to Vermont companies, and helping organize contacts.
You might have already seen the appeals for N95 facemasks, asking that companies either donate spare masks, help us identify direct suppliers, or even determine whether they can convert to manufacturing them themselves. If you can do any of those three things, let us know at email@example.com, and, most importantly, please contact the State Emergency Operations Center directly at (800) 347-0488.
The state is still working on lists of known needs in addition to these masks. We will be updating our outreach to include specific prompts as they become available. However, even before that you can still help us by filling out this initial, more general survey by clicking here.
Although the survey above is currently very general, even this level of feedback will help us connect with suppliers as more specific needs are identified. Also, you might already have a good understanding of whether you can supply critical needs, and might already be doing so with either public or private sector customers.
Second, we have been working with our national partners at the National Association of Manufacturers and other national allies and peers in other states to identify federal needs and cooperate in making connections with local suppliers. Just as with N95 facemasks in Vermont, there are already some identified needs at the federal level.
In the interest of efficiency, we strongly encourage you to review the survey being hosted by our allies at NAM by clicking here. However, if you do identify products on this survey that you can supply or could convert to supply, please let us know as well by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can be in touch with you should the state also want to connect with you about this.
As more ways to connect with federal authorities evolve, including in the context of the Defense Production Act, we will update our outreach to you. However, if you know about any opportunities and resources we should work with or share, please don’t hesitate to contact us about them at email@example.com.
Third, we have been in communication for some time with key state response leaders about both the need to consider certain critical manufacturing as “essential” for continued access to childcare, but especially to ensure that manufacturing is considered essential in the context of any broader shelter in place or other restrictive policies that might be adopted.
There are many aspects to why manufacturers should be considered essential and allowed to continue to operate, including the provision of critical needs for the state, critical needs for the country, and critical support for their local economy.
If you participate in the surveys noted above, you will be helping us identify the most acute cases for essential status.
However, if you participate in this survey you can find by clicking here, you will help us make the case for broader essential status for manufacturing in the aggregate by both understanding your contribution to your local economy, but also whether you contribute to any of the many categories of activities that have been identified as essential in federal guidelines noted below.
(This is not just for manufacturing, however – as you will see in the guidelines below, there are other sectors and activities included as well that we would very much like to hear about)
Please note that this survey is strictly confidential and will only be used in the aggregate. If we see a potential value in citing your specific circumstances, we will contact you about whether you want to share your information with anyone.
As noted above, to help you understand what kinds of products and services could be considered essential, we encourage you to review the “Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce: Ensuring Community and National Resilience in COVID-19 Response” published by the Department of Homeland Security by clicking here.
Keeping in Touch and Helping Us Going Forward
We very much hope you are able to participate in the surveys and requested feedback outlined above.
To review additional news and resources related to COVID-19, click here.
To receive additional updates and alerts, please complete the contact form by clicking here.
And if you have any questions, or any suggestions or recommendations for what we can do to help you and other Vermont employers, including anything you want to share with your peers and colleagues, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Surveys cited above: