Peerless Products Inc. received a SPARK Grant to help with the costs of keeping the manufacturer producing during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
“We applied for $50,247 of reimbursement for items purchased to battle the coronavirus within the Peerless community, but also to do our part in mitigating the spread of the virus in the surrounding communities as we have employees who work here, but live generally within a 45-mile radius of Fort Scott,” said Cindy Davis, the company’s wellness and benefits manager. “We received our grant money about a month ago.”
The Strengthing People and Revitalizing Kansas (SPARK) taskforce is responsible for the statewide distribution of the U.S. Coronavirus Relief Fund.
But the largest Bourbon County employer did not wait for help to begin combating the virus.
“In the initial weeks of the pandemic, we had a number of employees volunteer to hand-make face masks for every employee to have five, and then we were able to donate masks out around the local community,” she said. “For a solid month, after purchasing seven sewing machines, our small sewing taskforce churned out over 4,000 cloth reusable face masks!”
” We also implemented contact tracing,” Davis said. ” Supplies for all these methods of mitigating virus contamination were submitted on our SPARK grant application. The Peerless family collectively has viewed this pandemic as a very serious threat to personal health and welfare, but also to the financial welfare of each family supported by the work we do here, AND the economic health of Bourbon county.”
“As the reality of the COVID-19 virus became quickly apparent back in early March, we realized that, as the largest employer in Bourbon County (350-400 employees), we had to jump into action immediately,” she said. ” We kept close watch on the Center for Disease Control and state government guidelines and protocol recommendations, and continue to do so.”
They worked in the plant to reduce the virus.
“If certain steps were recommended, we put things into action here at Peerless as requirements,” she said. “As a business, Peerless has kept in close communication with state and local authorities, as well as with all of our employees regarding actions and protocols.”
“Peerless Products manufactures high-end custom windows and doors for buildings all over the country, high-rise business and apartment buildings, schools, hotels, hospitals, military installations, and more,” Davis said.
” However, when the pandemic accelerated, we pulled our field service personnel off the road, curtailed any travel by our sales force, and began daily temperature taking of every employee or vendor entering our facilities, she said. “Within our plant, our safety and environmental staff, employee wellness, human resources, Peerless culture, top-level management, as well as purchasing staff, sought out tools and supplies and methods to mitigate virus contamination.”
“Signage all around the plant on proper hygiene, procuring large numbers of face masks, extra handwash stations, great quantities of hand sanitizer, gloves, special air purifiers, enrollment of employees in telemedicine as a healthcare option (at no cost to the employee), the arrangement of employee break room seating (indoors and out) and office desks to implement the six feet distancing recommendation, and more were implemented.”