Kimball shifts focus to meet health care demand

From Local Sources

JASPER — Kimball International announced today important shifts in business operations to prioritize an increase in demand for critically needed health care products.

Starting on Wednesday, the company will realign its U.S. footprint to put the needs of its healthc are clients at the forefront:

• The company will temporarily pause operations in six of its U.S. manufacturing facilities through April 13, including locations in Fordsville, Kentucky; Danville, Kentucky; Baltimore, Maryland; Red Lion, Pennsylvania; and 16th Street and Cherry Street in Jasper.

• It will continue operating three of its U.S. manufacturing facilities, including locations in Santa Claus, and 11th Avenue and 15th Street in Jasper, in addition to its logistics operations.

• A fourth manufacturing facility will reopen in Salem on April 6.

In addition to its current Kimball Health and National offering, the Kimball Health Brand has launched a family of Health Crisis Solutions: patient seating, overbed tables and privacy screens to be used in triage, new and existing products to support temporary nurse communication centers and rapid response patient rooms for makeshift facilities. The National Brand will launch a grouping of Quickship Products specifically targeting facilities servicing the COVID-19 crisis. Company teams have also found new ways to service the immediate need for personal protective equipment by manufacturing medical masks and shields for local health centers.

“Despite the many unknowns in our world right now, we do know two things are for sure: 1. Our employees will always come first, and 2. We feel a responsibility to do what we can to help others through this time,” said Kristie Juster, CEO of Kimball International.

Last week, Kimball announced a new program to provide all active, full-time manufacturing employees with ten days of additional “PTO for Crisis” to stay at home with their families with full pay and benefits during this crisis. This was well received and many KII employees are taking advantage of this program, while other employees expressed a desire to continue working.

For those that elect to work, the company says it's being vigilant, with enhanced safety measures at each manufacturing facility, including daily temperature checks for all employees, additional measures to promote social distancing and exceeding standards for sanitation processes and procedures. Employees’ safety remains top priority, the company says.

“We believe this is the best course of action to meet both of our goals putting our people first and doing our part during this crisis,” Juster said. “This approach decreases the number of employees that are in our plants on a daily basis, and allows people who elect to continue working to help meet urgent needs for healthcare products in the marketplace.”

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