Edition


Vol. 54, No. 2

In this edition

The Ripon Society has long believed that America works best when Americans work together.  With a global pandemic paralyzing our country and the world, we decided to publish a Special Edition focused on those Americans who are doing just that.

On the Front Lines of the Fight

Neil Ehmig is a military veteran representing the next generation. Instead of going overseas, he’s fighting a battle blocks away from his home to try to keep his community safe.

A Critical Lifeline in a Time of Need

For the past two decades, Amazon and our workers have built an infrastructure to deliver goods quickly and reliably. We are proud of the role we play to ease the pain of this pandemic, serving as a lifeline for millions of consumers and small businesses.

Thank God for Truckers

Everything we need to fight COVID-19 is moved from Point A to Point B by a truck driver. Without truckers, grocery store shelves and hospital supply rooms would be empty. The result would be chaos. 

Training Displaced Workers is Key to Getting Americans Back to Work & Stimulating the Economy

By giving people a pathway to a job in the tech sector, we are helping fill an urgent need for trained and certified professionals.

A Shelter from the Storm

Shelter at home means one thing when you have a home. But what does it mean when you have no home, especially when you’re a young person on your own, unsure where to sleep, eat, or find refuge from the pandemic?

Partnerships are Key to Defeating COVID-19

We know that in order to re-open the country, testing is key. CVS Health is utilizing its expansive community presence to bring COVID-19 testing closer to home.

Doing Her Part

With wider-spread coronavirus testing needed in America, Jami Clark — a FedEx specialist and C-17 pilot with the Tennessee National Guard — took to the skies to pilot a joint overseas mission, transporting nearly one million test swabs from Italy.

To Beat this Crisis, We Need to Fight Hunger

No American should have to wonder where their next meal will come from, before, during or after a food crisis like this one. At Feeding America, this crisis has challenged our network to continue to provide nutritious meals.

The Food Industry Rewrites its Playbook on Crisis Response

It’s in times of emergency that we realize the true resiliency of our supply chain. Our industry has worked around the clock to replenish and restock shelves, while ensuring the cleanliness of stores and the safety of its associates.

How GM is Mobilizing to Combat a Global Crisis

At General Motors and across the auto industry, generations of employees have been counted on to develop solutions during times of crisis. Today is no different.

Essential Changes Required During Times of Crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged our country in ways we could have never imagined.  Since day one, The Home Depot has been committed to serving our community as an “essential” retailer.

Response to COVID-19 will Make Us All Stronger

Last month, Honda began building an entirely new product in our 40-year history of building things in America – diaphragm compressors for life-saving ventilators to help victims of COVID-19.

Bringing a Long History of Innovation to the Fight Against COVID-19

At Sanofi, the drive to transform the practice of medicine has taken on increased urgency for everyone in the Sanofi family since the global emergence of COVID-19.

Delivering Hope With Every Package

While the coronavirus continues to impact all facets of our everyday lives, one thing hasn’t changed at all: our customers are counting on us, and we’ll keep delivering for them.

Combating COVID-19 

How can the USO continue to be the Force Behind The Forces® of the five million active duty, Guard, Reserve and family members in the wake of COVID-19 when so much of the tempo of military life has changed?  Our answer, “Change with it.”

PhRMA Member Companies Tackle COVID-19 From All Angles

PhRMA members are working around the clock to research and develop new vaccines and treatments, as well as test existing medicines to help those infected with the virus.

How GM is Mobilizing to Combat a Global Crisis

GM employee builds a ventilator at the
GM Kokomo Operations in Kokomo, Indiana.

At General Motors and across the auto industry, generations of employees have been counted on to develop solutions during times of crisis. Today is no different.

As COVID-19 has spread across the globe, thousands of our team members, along with our global suppliers, have been working with speed and urgency to get medical professionals the tools they need to save lives, including face masks, other protective equipment and critical care ventilators.

The demand for ventilators, in particular, has quickly outpaced the supply. At increasingly overwhelmed hospitals, access to enough ventilators can be the difference between life and death. That’s why we volunteered to work with Ventec Life Systems to arm front line medical professionals with the Ventec V+Pro, the kind of critical care ventilator needed to treat seriously ill patients.

“We joined the fight against the coronavirus because it’s the right thing to do. And because we believe our talent and ingenuity can help the world win this fight,” GM CEO & Chairman Mary Barra said. 

The V+Pro is portable and can run on battery power, which are important factors as medical professionals consider treatment in non-traditional locations, such as field hospitals that don’t have pressured air supply and other normal hospital functions. 

“We joined the fight against the coronavirus because it’s the right thing to do. And because we believe our talent and ingenuity can help the world win this fight.” – Mary Barra, CEO & Chairman of General Motors

That’s why we are proud to contribute our purchasing and manufacturing capability alongside the respiratory care expertise of Ventec. Together, and with the help of our significantly expanded supply chain, our Kokomo facility is building 30,000 desperately-needed ventilators under contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. We are scheduled to ship more than 600 ventilators in April and almost half of the 30,000-unit order will be filled by the end of June. The full order will be completed by the end of August, with the capacity to build more ventilators after August if needed.

GM employee prepares completed face
masks at GM facility in Warren, Michigan.

The safety of our employees and the community is our number one priority.  That’s why we are actively training employees at our Kokomo plant in the extensive screening, cleaning and other CDC-recommended procedures as we ramp up volume production of Ventec Life Systems’ critical care ventilator. Among the employees is UAW Local 292 member Debbie Hollis of Kokomo.

“I have family all across the country, so (COVID-19) has impacted everybody that I know and love,” Hollis said. “I’m grateful that I get a chance to do my part and be a part of something…we are modern-day Rosie the Riveters.”

Hollis and the production team, which will grow to more than 1,000 men and women, including people who already work for GM and new hires from the Kokomo area, are also gaining hands-on exposure to Ventec’s ventilator.

Face Masks Also Needed
The need for face masks has never been so important. In addition to a ventilator shortage, there is a critical need for face masks in hospitals and clinics across the country. To help, we are using our Warren, Michigan manufacturing facility to manufacture face masks quickly and efficiently. Understanding the need for urgent action, we started producing masks just six days, 23 hours and 30 minutes after our initial kickoff meeting – beating our internal target for timing.

“I have family all across the country, so (COVID-19) has impacted everybody that I know and love. I’m grateful that I get a chance to do my part and be a part of something…we are modern-day Rosie the Riveters.” – Debbie Hollis, GM employee in Kokomo, Indiana
& member of UAW Local 292

By the end of the first week of production, we delivered the first 20,000 masks to workers on the frontlines of the pandemic and within two weeks, production will ramp up to approximately 50,000 masks per day – or up to 1.5 million masks per month.

Always Here, No Matter What
The auto industry was built by people with a desire to overcome challenges. This extends further than the history of military manufacturing or enabling the increase of ventilator production. We’re also making an impact within our communities.

GM has directed $2.6 million in grant funding to nonprofit organizations across the country, especially where we have employee presence, to address increasing critical needs, including food security, housing assistance, elderly assistance, small business support and at-home education.

This includes $1 million to the DonorsChoose.org “Keep Kids Learning” campaign that will provide $1,000 credits for teachers to send resources like food, books, tech and more to their students’ homes.

General Motors is proud to stand with healthcare professionals, governments, communities and individuals in this fight against COVID-19. And we will continue to lend our ingenuity and support to the country, as well as the world, during this global crisis.

Hollyn Schuemann is Executive Director of Federal Affairs for General Motors.