Wacker Chemical Corporation: ‘We Must Stay Safe, Be Patient, and Stand Together’

Wacker Chemical Corporation is committed not only to implementing safe practices in the workplace but also encouraging such practices with employees off-site and pivoting operations to better serve the community. See how the team’s commitment to the #MaskUpMichigan pledge supports those efforts.

Why did Wacker take the #MaskUpMichigan pledge?

The safety of our employees, our customers, and our community has always been a critical value for Wacker Chemical Corporation. To master the challenges induced by the COVID-19 pandemic, we must stay safe, be patient, and stand together. As a company that provides critical formulations for potential COVID-19 anti-viral medications, medical devices, wound care, PPE, and related products, we have maintained operations throughout the pandemic while introducing many safety protocols. This has included the daily use of masks, which we have provided daily to all on-site team members, required of all site visitors and guests, beginning in early April. We are proud to share our commitment across the state through the #MaskUpMichigan campaign.

Is Wacker doing anything unique or specific to encourage face covering (mask or shields) among employees and/or customers?

Since the beginning of April, Wacker has consistently provided face masks to all our team members working on-site, and we will continue this practice. Masks are provided at the beginning of each shift for every team member as they enter our sites. Visitors are also required to wear face masks and are not allowed to enter without one. We also encourage our team members to use face masks in their personal lives; in addition to the daily masks we provide on-site, we also mailed each on-site and remote worker in the nation two reusable face masks for use outside the workplace or to share with family members.

Has Wacker reopened? If so, please share the safety protocols and precautions that have been put in place since reopening to keep employees and customers safe.

Wacker provides our customers with formulations for health care, medical devices, and related products used to fight the spread of COVID-19, so we have been exempt from shelter-in-place orders and business restrictions and continued operations open with no interruptions throughout the pandemic. We have put safety protocols in place to keep team members safe while continuing to meet our customers’ needs to support products such as respirator masks; IV sets, needle-free valves; medical tape and wound care adhesives; flushable wipes, and anti-viral medications.

We have banned all business travel. To minimize the number of people interacting on-site, we moved employees whose work can be performed remotely to remote work. We also staggered onsite schedules and required safe distancing of at least six feet between individuals who are working in our labs and manufacturing facilities. Daily, before entering any site, team members and visitors must have their temperatures taken and complete health questionnaires. In addition, Wacker has enhanced sanitation measures to supplement our standard cleaning routines.

Please share anything additional Wacker is doing to keep employees and customers safe during this time.

Wacker also remains committed to the health and safety of our communities. While we had not manufactured hand sanitizer on-site prior to the pandemic, out of concern for the shortages in our communities, we began doing this and have now manufactured more than 6,300 liters of hand sanitizer for donation to local fire departments, senior living centers, health care services, and other community organizations.

We have a three-phased return-to-site plan for the return of larger numbers of team members to the on-site workplace and have not yet moved out of “phase zero” given continued concerns about the slow-down of the COVID-19 spread. The launch of each phase will take place only when we have met a detailed set of safety criteria and we are confident that all team members can do their jobs on-site in a manner that is safe for everyone.

Wacker understands that this is a time of uncertainty for our team members. A Coronavirus Crisis Team of our senior leaders meets twice weekly to respond to team member and customer questions and concerns, continuously evaluate and adapt our safety practices.

Ghafari: Masking Up Key to Welcoming Back Employees

The Ghafari team is going all-in to ensure its employees are informed and equipped to participate in health and safety practices, including masking up, as part of its reopening plan. Learn more about why they’ve committed to the #MaskUpMichigan pledge and how the team is making compliance as accessible as possible for its employees.

Why did Ghafari take the #MaskUpMichigan pledge?

Ghafari took the #MaskUpMichigan pledge to reinforce our commitment to the mask requirements we have already implemented in our workspaces. As a proud Michigan-based family business, our greatest concern is always the safety of our team members. We are only able to welcome them back into our offices through a shared pledge to practices that support a healthy environment for all. Mask wearing is one such safety measure that is simple but greatly impactful.

Is Ghafari doing anything unique or specific to encourage face covering (mask or shields) among employees and/or customers?

Ghafari is requiring face masks in all of our offices and has employed a number of tactics to clearly communicate this requirement to our team:

  • Ghafari is providing masks to our team members who do not have their own.
  • Our mandatory “Return to the Office” training sessions – led by our HR team – dig deep into face masks, including the proper fit, acceptable types, maintenance and hygiene, and the CDC guidelines on placement and removal.
  • We know that masks are just as critical as hygiene, so we have added signage throughout our offices relaying their importance to our team members.
  • We post photos to our internal SharePoint site featuring team members at our other U.S. and overseas offices donning their masks to reaffirm that this is a global company practice.

Has Ghafari reopened? If so, please share the safety protocols/precautions that have been put in place since reopening to keep employees and customers safe.

Phase 1 of our reopening – in which we are welcoming back approximately 25% of our team – officially begins on Aug. 3 for our Michigan offices. In preparation for their return, we have: published a detailed return-to-office playbook; posted informative signage throughout our offices; set up cleaning and sanitation stations; bolstered our regular cleaning schedule and instituted weekly deep cleanings; and conducted training on all of the new protocols, including daily health questionnaires, temperature checks, and face masks.

Doerken: Masking Up is a Small Contribution That Makes a Big Difference

Doerken’s commitment to the #MaskUpMichigan pledge is a cornerstone of its reopening process to keep employees and clients safe. Beyond masking up in their facilities, the Doerken team is also encouraging face-covering practices outside of the workplace to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep its team members safe and facilities open. Doerken President Kent Anderson and Director of Business Affairs Dennis Mulalic shed some light on their team’s commitment to the pledge.

Why did Doerken take the #MaskUpMichigan pledge?

For the safety of our colleagues, families, and community we feel “Masking Up” is a small contribution we can all make to create a safe environment. Further, this protocol will enable the economy to reopen and begin to recover the activity necessary to support our families and community.

Is Doerken doing anything unique or specific to encourage face covering (mask or shields) among employees and/or customers?

The use of masks is part of our comprehensive safety protocol implemented at Doerken to prevent the spread of infection. We encourage all employees to utilize masks outside the work environment providing lower probability of any infection to team members and families. PPE and all necessary devices to check the health of employees is provided by the company to each employee. Masks are mandatory for all who enter the facility. Cooperation has not been an issue among the team.

How is Doerken supporting staff in enforcing face covering among customers?

The few customers to have visited our Technical Center since the pandemic hit have cooperated with our required safety protocol upon entering the facility.  We have experienced no resistance to wearing masks.

Has Doerken reopened?

Yes, Doerken has reopened!  A COVID-19 protocol was developed and implemented using materials and procedures from several sources including MICHauto, the Detroit Regional Chamber, CDC, WHO, Tier 1s, and OEMs. The detailed and comprehensive protocol includes measures for self-certification, PPE, disinfection measures, social distancing, health and wellness, signage, and more. Updates have been made as the situation and response requires. Again, great support and cooperation among the team.

What additional steps have Doerken taken to keep employees and customers safe during this time?

Much of our staff is able to perform their role from a remote home office. Those that are able to continue to do so. All travel and customer visits have been suspended indefinitely. Use of Zoom has proliferated, and we expect this trend to continue with greater use of virtual meetings. Our team is evaluating other new tools, which will enable effective and engaging communication and collaboration with our customers and colleagues. Innovation will be used to facilitate further growth in our business and as a means to exceed customer expectations.

The Henry Ford: Committing to #MaskUpMichigan is ‘The Right Thing to Do’

The Henry Ford is embarking on the reopening of its attractions with the health and safety of its staff and guests top of mind. As part of these efforts, they’ve signed the #MaskUpMichigan pledge to commit to the use of face coverings by all employees and visitors to keep their doors open. The team shared why this cause is so important to them.

Why did The Henry Ford take the #MaskUpMichigan pledge?

The Henry Ford is supporting #MaskUpMichigan because, quite frankly, it is the right thing to do. The health and safety of our visitors, staff, and volunteers is and will always be priority number one for us as a destination. We are committed to providing the safest environment possible right now for everyone as we reopen portions of our campus. Like so many cultural destinations, organizations, and businesses around the world, The Henry Ford is slowly getting back to work after having been closed due to COVID-19 for almost 16 weeks. Like so many, we are facing a crippling shortfall due to the closure and want all organizations across the country, and particularly in our state, to remain open and begin the process to build their businesses back from this pandemic. Wearing a mask simply reduces the risk of spreading this disease. We have an obligation to do our part, inform our guests, and keep everyone safe and healthy.

Is The Henry Ford doing anything unique or specific to encourage face covering (mask or shields) among employees and/or customers?

At The Henry Ford, all staff, members, and guests, age 2 and over, are required to wear a face mask in all indoor spaces of The Henry Ford, as well as during the ticketing and admission process.

We have signage throughout Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation and Greenfield Village alerting people to our “Mask On” policy and reminding our guests to wear their masks for themselves and for others. We have masked the Thomas Edison statue and Gog and Magog on top of Sir John Bennett in Greenfield Village as well as the Henry Ford statue outside of Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation as further reminders that everyone needs to wear a mask.

Since reopening, please share additional safety protocols/precautions that have been put in place to keep employees and customers safe.

It is important that our guests know that while our mission remains unchanged, The Henry Ford, for now, is a different institution in size, scope, and visitation. In this first phase, Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation and Greenfield Village will be open and only operational Thursday through Sunday at only 25% capacity. We are taking every precaution to ensure a healthy and safe environment for all and therefore many of our hands-on activities are curbed and we have limited some of our immersive experiences like boarding the Rosa Parks bus in the museum or riding in an authentic Model T throughout Greenfield Village. In addition, we implemented timed tickets for quick, touch-free, and safe entry.

Some of our buildings within Greenfield Village need to remain closed due to the tight interiors of these historic structures, but we have allowed for interpretations to continue outside these structures to further engage our guests. We require all interactions between guests and staff to have a presence of six feet or more. In addition, we installed plexiglass barriers between each of the rows of train cars to ensure our Weiser Railroad could still transport our guests around Greenfield Village.

Our cleaning staff, identified as “The Clean Team,” are constantly present throughout Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation and Greenfield Village sanitizing surfaces for the further safety of guests and staff. During these times, it is so important for you to KNOW BEFORE YOU GO so we are asking all of our guests to please be sure to visit our website at THF.org/welcomeback for further details on how to secure a timeslot and for a list of our safety guidelines and modifications.

Anything you would like to add?

We want to thank all of our guests for their patience, their cooperation, and their continued support during this time as we Reactivate The Henry Ford and rebuild this magnificent institution.

Hear more on how The Henry Ford is approaching safety in reopening in a Town Hall session with its President and CEO Patricia Mooradian on Thursday, July 30 at 2 p.m.Register today.

Fifth Third Bank: Striving to Keep Our Customers at the Center of What We Do, Safely

As part of the Keep Businesses Open #MaskUpMichigan campaign, the Chamber has encouraged businesses and individuals to commit to wearing a face mask as appropriate and sign the pledge. Chamber member, Fifth Third Bank, signed on and is requiring all staff and customers to wear masks or face coverings. David Girodat, regional president of Fifth Third Bank in Eastern Michigan, shared with the Chamber what precautions and measures his team has taken to ensure all employee and customer safety.

Why did Fifth Third take the #MaskUpMichigan pledge as well as decide to promote mask/face covering use across your entire footprint?

Our employees are our greatest asset, and we strive to always put our customers at the center of what we do. That is why wearing a mask and socially distancing is critical. The health and safety of our employees and customers is our highest priority.

Is Fifth Third doing anything unique to encourage face-covering use among employees and customers?

As an essential business, half of our employees never stopped working from our financial centers (branches). For a short time, we were providing customer service through the drive-through with the option of setting a lobby appointment. Employees working in financial centers initially received two masks a day and every single Fifth Third employee has received two reusable Fifth Third-branded face masks. Employees are asked to now use the reusable masks, or their preferred face covering. Regardless of if they’re working from home or a financial center, it was important we helped provide face coverings.

How does Fifth Third enforce this with customers?

We ask customers to wear a mask; if they do not have one, we will provide it.

Recently, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a new Executive Order requiring Michiganders to wear masks in indoor public spaces and some outdoor public spaces. Does this help Fifth Third enforce a mask or face covering rule?

Even before state requirements came into play, Fifth Third had asked employees and contractors to cover their faces when they are around others and cannot maintain at least six feet of distance. We feel strongly about this. Facial coverings – along with social distancing and handwashing – are the simplest and most effective ways to safeguard your health, the health of those around you, and the overall health of your community.

What additional safety protocols or precautions has Fifth Third put in place to keep employees and customers safe?

We continue to work with customers how they prefer; we have virtual and in-person options, depending on their comfort level.

Learn more about the Keep Businesses Open #MaskUpMichigan Campaign.

Miller Canfield: We Want Our Businesses to Be Safe, to Stay Open for Economic Health

Though Miller Canfield staff are still working from home, they are doing their part to encourage all employees to wear a mask, and helping to spread the #MaskUpMichigan message. Michael McGee, the president and CEO of Miller Canfield shared how their workforce is staying safe amid COVID-19.

Why did Miller Canfield take the #MaskUpMichigan pledge?

It’s a positive message, one that puts the focus on something that we all agree on: We want our businesses to be safe and to stay open for the health of our economy.

It does apply to our business operations. Right now, our attorneys and staff are working from home because the governor’s order states that work that can be performed remotely should be. But we will be returning to the office, and we want to be safe when we do. Also, it impacts our clients who have on-site work being performed. What affects them affects us. Going even further, what affects the greater business community affects us all.

Is Miller Canfield doing anything unique or specific to encourage mask-wearing/face covering among employees and/or customers?

From day one, we have regularly communicated with attorneys and staff about safety and CDC guidelines and staying healthy. So when the #MaskUpMichigan pledge was launched, we were eager to sign on right away! Within the firm, we are all working apart, but are having some fun with the #MaskUp selfie challenge. We used our firm newsletter to launch the challenge to everyone to send masked selfies to enter a gift card drawing and encourage some friendly competition and interactions (the truth is, we miss seeing our coworkers’ faces!). We’ll feature the photos in our newsletter as we continue to encourage safety and protecting ourselves and our community. As for clients and other visitors to the office, we know that not every visitor is keen on mask-wearing. We understand. It takes some getting used to. But we are committed to remaining firm because we care and we want to do business safely. We will offer our visitors empathy and understanding … and a mask.

Please share anything additional your business is doing to keep employees and customers safe during this time:

The main thing we are doing is encouraging our employees to stay home and stay safe, and to minimize in-person contact with clients. We communicate with clients telephonically and by video and email, and when we are able to resume in-person contact, we will adhere to stringent safety rules to keep all of us as safe as possible.

Our offices have been closed for on-site business since March 16. We do have a small number of people in our offices to manage functions that must be performed on-site. We are currently working on our plans to return to the office. When it’s safe to do so, we will take the return to the office very slowly and carefully. Our reopening plans will follow CDC guidelines and local orders and will include employees and visitors wearing face coverings, adhering to social distancing recommendations, and thorough cleaning and sanitizing as described by the CDC. We want to do this right so that our workforce stays healthy and businesses can remain open.


Grand Hotel: Our Team Is Here to Serve Everyone Safely, #MaskUpMichigan

Grand Hotel opened its doors for the season in June and has committed to serving their customers safely, while also ensuring employee safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of the Keep Businesses Open #MaskUpMichigan campaign, the Chamber has encouraged businesses and individuals to commit to wearing a face mask as appropriate and sign the pledge. Chamber member and partner, Grand Hotel, signed on and is requiring all staff and guests to wear masks or face coverings. The Executive Vice President of Operations, Doug Dean, shared with the Chamber what precautions and measures the hotel has taken to ensure all employee and customer safety.

Dean will also be participating in a Chamber Town Hall discussion alongside Tim Hygh, executive director of the Mackinac Island Convention and Bureau on Thursday, July 16. Learn more and register.

Why did Grand Hotel take the #MaskUpMichigan pledge?

#MaskUpMichigan is a smart idea! The message is helpful to remind everyone — the importance of wearing a mask, and the benefit it will have in keeping our state and businesses open. Michigan needs tourism, but in order to keep it going people need to remember to follow the guidelines and stay safe. It is our priority at Grand Hotel to provide a safe and comfortable environment for everyone who visits this season.

Is Grand Hotel doing anything unique to encourage mask-wearing/face covering among employees and/or customers?

Grand Hotel has signage throughout reminding guests to wear their masks, wash their hands, and keep a safe distance. You will find the signs as soon as you approach the building and then strategically placed in the hotel. We also created a safety video to help guests understand what to expect this season, and illustrate the steps we are taking to keep Grand Hotel safe while visiting.  We continue to work with our staff on how to approach guests who are not wearing a mask to deliver the message of masks being required in a positive and hospitable way. Our procedures were recently highlighted in both national stories by NBC News and The Detroit News.

What additional safety protocols/precautions have Grand Hotel put in place since reopening to keep employees and customers safe?

Grand Hotel has been welcoming guests for 134 consecutive years and this year has not been any different. The hotel opened on Sunday, June 21, 2020. In addition to the high cleanliness standards that were previously in place, Grand Hotel implemented enhanced sanitization protocols across the hotel, developed with guidance provided by local health authorities, the CDC, AHLA Safe Stay guidelines, and other governmental agencies. We also have an increased frequency of cleaning and sanitizing stations across the property, with additional focus on high-touch surfaces. This elevated approach extends to the cleaning and sanitation processes within our guest rooms, restaurants, and team member service areas.

We also are continually reviewing all of our operations and adjusting the seating capacities in public spaces including dining areas, the Front Porch, Parlor, and lower lobby where the front desk is located. Several in-room amenities, such as the coffee maker and mini bar are not available this season, however, guests will be able to make requests for whatever they need; our team is here to serve everyone safely. We are also limiting some of the activities available that do not allow for safe social distancing.

Last week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a new Executive Order requiring Michiganders to wear masks in indoor public spaces and some outdoor public spaces. Does this help Grand Hotel enforce a mask or face covering rule?  

The Governor’s recent Executive Order clarifies the issue and takes any individual interpretation out of the equation making it easier to explain to our guests. If we want a successful tourism season in Michigan, continuing to serve our guests in a safe manner, and keeping businesses open, we need to follow what the Executive Order says and help remind people to wear a mask.

Please share anything additional Grand Hotel has done to keep employees and customers safe during this time: 

We made outdoor dining a priority for not only our guests but for everyone visiting Mackinac Island. We have multiple outdoor dining options available at The Gate House, Jockey Club, and Woods Restaurant. All of our restaurants are adhering to the social distancing requirements by keeping the tables and patrons six-feet apart.

Learn more about the Keep Businesses Open #MaskUpMichigan Campaign.

Thursday, July 16
11 a.m.

How is Mackinac Island ensuring a safe travel experience for visitors during the COVID-19 global pandemic? Learn what to expect when traveling to Mackinac Island this summer and fall. Doug Dean, executive vice president of operations at Grand Hotel, and Tim Hygh, executive director of the Mackinac Island Convention and Visitors Bureau, will share what Island businesses have done to reopen and the precautions they have implemented to ensure safety.

Dean and Hygh will engage in a discussion with Tammy Carnrike, chief operating officer of the Detroit Regional Chamber.

HELLA: We Have To Be in This Together #MaskUpMichigan

As part of the Keep Businesses Open #MaskUpMichigan campaign, the Chamber has encouraged businesses and individuals to commit to wearing a face mask as appropriate and sign the pledge. Automotive supplier, HELLA, a Chamber and MICHauto member, has signed onto the pledge. HELLA’s Head of Sales Excellence and Marketing, Ben Cohen, teamed up with the Chamber to share why HELLA took the pledge and how they are supporting their employees and customers.

Why did HELLA take the #MaskUpMichigan pledge?

Wearing a face covering is vitally important to keeping everyone safe. Studies show that the more people who wear a face covering the more we can help control the spread of COVID-19. This is not only about keeping our business going today but for the long term as well. We have to be in this together.

Is HELLA doing anything unique or specific to encourage face covering (mask or shields) among employees and/or customers?

Each HELLA location has its own return work playbook which is developed by the local Crisis Management Teams. These playbooks follow global processes and guidelines as well as local laws. In our Northville location, only a few essential employees are allowed in the office now. But they are all being held to the playbook guidelines of wearing masks and maintaining social distancing, along with many other things.

Here in Michigan, each employee is being issued five washable cloth masks so that they have one covering per day of the week. We have also provided information on how to care for the masks so they are properly cleaned and last.

What safety protocols/precautions have been put in place since reopening to keep employees and customers safe?

In our Michigan offices, we are only allowing some essential employees to be in the office. Otherwise, the rest of the workforce is remote. Using collaboration tools such as Microsoft teams we have been able to keep our employees engaged while working remotely.

For our plants around the world, they are running at varying capacities but all have their unique safety protocols to ensure the safety of everyone working there. Additionally, we have quite strict policies for travel between HELLA locations, to customers, or having customers come to visit us. Following these guidelines globally while making sure to adhere to local regulations the teams are ensuring we are thinking of the people first. And the only way a business continues to run is with its best asset, a great team.

Learn more about the Keep Businesses Open #MaskUpMichigan Campaign.