During this time of community need, many individuals and businesses are stepping up to contribute to the cause. In addition to our colleagues’ volunteer efforts, Associated Bank business customers have reset priorities and reinvented their work in support of COVID-19 relief efforts in our communities.
Two customers—bKL Architecture in Chicago and Lakeview Industries in Carver, Minn.,—have launched operations in support of healthcare workers and other front-line responders:
Tom Kerwin, bKL Principal, and Andrew Tyson, manager of the firm’s model shop, saw the need for face shields and quickly responded. Using their four 3D printers, they began to print face shields for healthcare workers in the Chicago area. Seeing the vast need, they set up a GoFundMe page and have raised more than $40,000, allowing them to purchase eight new 3D printers.
With the increased capacity they were able to produce 150 face shields per day, ultimately shipping more than 5,000 shields to medical professionals from Chicago, Minnesota and Ohio to the east coast and California. They now have volunteers from the Chicago area safely assisting with the effort and have partnered with #GetMePPE Chicago to identify needs and deliver face shields to a network of medical providers with a focus on underserved and safety net hospitals.
At the conclusion of the initiative, bKL will donate remaining funds to #GetMePPE Chicago and the eight new 3D printers to Chicago public schools and libraries.
At Lakeview Industries, the custom component manufacturer moved from an idea to product sample to production in just six days, making face shields to help meet nationwide demand. To date, Lakeview has produced and shipped 2.2 million disposable face shields to healthcare personnel and other essential workers on the front lines.
This business pivot has enabled the company to retain its 85 full-time employees and create jobs for 110 temporary employees. Lakeview has also partnered with six other Minnesota manufacturing organizations and several volunteers to meet the growing demands for production of PPE plastic face shields. The company has donated more than 40,000 face shields to organizations and healthcare workers across the country and another 30,000 to the Minnesota Sheriffs Association to protect local law enforcement on the front lines.
The employees of these companies are proud to be helping our front-line responders during the pandemic. As an Associated Bank colleague, you can be proud that your work is helping to make stories like these possible for our customers and, in turn, strengthening our communities.