4/27 Update: Some businesses still hiring

Posted on Apr 27, 2020 :: Insight on Business, Web Exclusive
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The COVID-19 pandemic has not put an end to hiring new workers. A survey from the H.S. Group found that 42 percent of businesses plan to continue the process of filling positions — most of it being done virtually.

The survey also found 34 percent are holding off on hiring for now and 19 percent are furloughing workers.

As to who’s hiring, H.S. Group President Joey Leonard said manufacturers are still looking for workers and some businesses are looking to fill their open mid-management and executive positions. Leonard said hiring companies are using the phone and video conferences to meet with potential candidates, with 35 percent doing in-person meetings with social distancing measures.

Order opens additional businesses

Gov. Tony Evers announced the expansion of operations for nonessential businesses, providing even more opportunities for businesses to get back to work in a safe and responsible way.

The order, signed by Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm, allows nonessential businesses to do curbside drop-off of goods and animals. This will allow businesses like dog groomers, small engine repair shops, upholstery businesses and others to open safely.

The order also allows outdoor recreational rentals, such as boats, golf carts, kayaks, ATVs and other similar recreational vehicles. Additionally, automatic or self-service car washes would be able to operate.

All of these businesses must operate free of contact with customers by providing payment options online or over the phone and enact proper disinfecting practices. In addition, operations must be able to be performed by one staff member.

Biax-Fiberfilm expands production of fabric used in N95 masks

Biax-Fiberfilm Corp. in Greenville is expanding its production of melt-blown fabric, which is used in N95 masks and other medical applications.

“We are currently running around the clock on two machines and the new capacity in Neenah will be five times higher,” said Biax-Fiberfilm President Douglas Brown, adding the company recently purchased a former Kimberly-Clark Corp. facility in Neenah that provided additional space for three 60-inch-wide production lines.

The Neenah facility should be up and running in June and will use current technology as well as new technology developed by Biax-Fiberfilm, Brown said.

The nonwoven melt-blown fabric and a patented spun-blown system that produces fabrics that few others can create are being produced at the Greenville factory. Enough fabric is made daily for about 3.5 million masks.

United Way Fox Cities launches site to give, get help

United Way Fox Cities has launched a new website — Give Help • Get Help Hub — to provide a convenient, “one-stop shop” for those who need help and those who want to give help in the Fox Cities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The website’s launch is built around the theme “In it together. Stronger than ever.”

The project was made possible by financial support from the ThedaCare Family of Foundations, Thrivent, J. J. Keller Foundation Inc., and U.S. Venture/Schmidt Family Foundation, and in-kind support from B2 Web Studios and Blue Door Consulting.