March 24 update: J. J. Keller, other businesses step up to help

Posted on Mar 24, 2020 :: Insight on Business, Web Exclusive
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Gov. Tony Evers made it official Tuesday and issued a Safer at Home order that prohibits all nonessential travel, with some exceptions as clarified and defined in the order.

The order is effective beginning at 8 a.m., Wednesday, March 25 and will remain in effect until 8 a.m., Friday, April 24 or until a superseding order is issued.

Under the order, people can still see a doctor or pick up medicine, get necessary services or supplies for themselves or their family, and care for a family member in another household or other older adults, minors, people with disabilities and dependents.

Here is a look at how businesses in the region are making changes or stepping up to help in the wake of COVID-19:

Oshkosh Corp. suspends some production

Oshkosh Corp. said in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it will suspend its access equipment production in North America on March 30 and resume production on April 13. Similar actions were taken in the company’s European market. In a statement, Oshkosh said measures taken by governments and businesses to limit the spread of the coronavirus have adversely affected the company and its customers and suppliers. In addition, many access equipment customers are modifying their delivery requirements. To read more, click here.

Click here to visit our COVID-19 page with more news on how area businesses and organizations are coping with the pandemic.

Excellerate Manufacturing building medical units

Excellerate Manufacturing, an Appleton-based maker of electrical assemblies and modular solutions, is building emergency deployable medical units to assist the nation in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Excellerate’s Emergency Deployable Medical Units will provide hospitals with much-needed additional space to help with hospital overflow capacity. The mobile units can be deployed across the United States. Each unit can accommodate up to 48 patients and includes triage rooms, lab space, radiology, exam rooms, a pharmacy and more. It takes about two weeks to build each unit.

Helping hands

J. J. Keller & Associates donated more than 18,000 masks to area health care systems and Winnebago County to help those battling the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keller donated 900 N95 masks to ThedaCare, 9,000 surgical masks to Ascension Health and 9,000 surgical masks to Winnebago County. The masks were in storage as part of Keller’s longstanding crisis response plan. With nearly all its associates working from home and the critical need for masks among health care workers and public safety workers, Keller’s leaders decided to donate the masks.

Hendricks Family Distillery in Omro is switching from making vodka to making hand sanitizer. The distillery is best known for its Pure Class Vodka. After owner Peggy Hendricks posted on Facebook she was going to make hand sanitizer, the distillery made and distributed more than 300 small bottles of sanitizer in one day. The Hendricks use fermented potatoes, which go through the distillation process in the custom still. Then the liquid gets turned into 194-proof neutral spirits, and that is what’s used in the hand sanitizer. Click here to read Insight’s cover story on the distillery from December 2016.

The United Way of Sheboygan County contributed $10,000 to create a COVID-19 Relief Fund, which will provide grants to Sheboygan County organizations facing hardships due to the virus. The United Way has identified its main areas of concern including access to food and child care, mortgage or rent assistance, and utility bill assistance.

The Nonprofit Leadership Initiative, a partnership of Fox Valley area nonprofits, funders, educational institutions and businesses dedicated to providing resources needed by nonprofit boards and leadership, is opening up a portion of its website to all nonprofits to use as a resource as they cope with COVID-19. As information comes in regarding COVID-19, the organization will post everything on Nplace.org either by topic or in the Disaster Preparedness group.

If your business or organization is doing something to help with the COVID-19 pandemic, please let us know at [email protected]